Sep 4, 2017

Dr. Gellner: The beginning of the school year can always be anxiety-provoking for kids, but it can be even more so if they're changing schools. I've got some tips on how to help your child cope on today's Scope. I'm Dr. Cindy Gellner.

Announcer: Keep your kids healthy and happy. You are now entering The Healthy Kids Zone with Dr. Cindy Gellner on The Scope.

Dr. Gellner: It's not uncommon to switch your child from one school to another and there are a variety of reasons for doing it. I changed schools a lot when I was younger because we moved. We changed schools for my children last year because of bullying issues. Whatever the reason, there are ways you can help your child with this transition.

First is you can try to visit your child's new school especially if they've never been there before. Let them get an idea of where the classrooms are, bathrooms, the office. Being familiar with their surroundings before they actually are a student can help a lot.

Go to back-to-school nights if your child has them so you can meet the school staff and your child's teacher. Find out as much as you can about what your child's school schedule will be so they know what to expect.

If your child has special needs, such as IEP for learning issues or a 504 for behavior problems, be sure your child's new school is aware of this. Often, previous school staff will help with transitioning this paperwork so the new school can prepare for your child's educational needs.

Remind your child that it's perfectly normal to feel scared about changing schools. Encourage them to meet new friends and make sure their teachers know that this is their first year in the new school.

Teachers are great at helping with transitions. This is especially true if your child had a negative experience at their last school and may be worried that they're going to face the same situations in their new school. Remind them that this is a fresh start for them.

Change is always unsettling for kids. They like routine. They like stability. Making sure their needs are met and helping them make this transition goes a long way to making them comfortable in their new school.

Announcer: Want The Scope delivered straight to your inbox? Enter your email address at and click "Sign Me Up" for updates of our latest episodes. The Scope Radio is a production of University of Utah Health Sciences.

For Patients