SMOOTH MOVES

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Life & Family - How to en­cour­age a growth mind­set

How can par­ents lay the ground­work for a smooth tran­si­tion be­tween schools?

The thought of tran­si­tion­ing to a new grade, school or coun­try can make many of us feel slightly ap­pre­hen­sive. How­ever, it can also be viewed as some­thing new, ex­cit­ing and pos­i­tively chal­leng­ing. One of the many im­por­tant el­e­ments re­lat­ing to a suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion is pro­mot­ing a “growth mind­set”. A per­son with a growth mind­set be­lieves they can learn any­thing they want to, or con­stantly wants to chal­lenge them­selves. The op­po­site is a fixed mind­set, which views tran­si­tions as too hard.

In ad­di­tion, par­ents can en­sure that the com­mu­ni­ca­tion lines with their child re­main open and strong. Let your child know that you un­der­stand how they’re feel­ing and what they’re go­ing through is im­por­tant – they may re­quire some re­as­sur­ance that ev­ery­thing will be OK.

What can par­ents do if they no­tice their child hav­ing dif­fi­culty?

Tran­si­tions take time, es­pe­cially as stu­dents be­gin to de­velop skills in­clud­ing adapt­abil­ity and re­silience. Par­ents nat­u­rally want the tran­si­tion to be a smooth process but un­for­tu­nately this isn’t al­ways the case. There can be a ten­dency to “jump in” and “res­cue” their child when, and if, they see them strug­gling. This is in­stinc­tive, but as dif­fi­cult as it is, know that it’s OK to al­low your child to strug­gle at times.

You may ob­serve a change in your child’s mood. Speak to them about their chal­lenges but em­power them to find ways to im­prove their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. This a great time to pro­vide a bit of guid­ance – though do stop short of com­pletely tak­ing over. And re­main pa­tient! All chil­dren need to be given time to find their feet within their new sur­rounds.

How does GWA (Sin­ga­pore) as­sist chil­dren to set­tle in?

From the ini­tial school tours through to even­tual en­rol­ment, the ob­jec­tive is to en­sure that we “know our learner” – your child. We find out as much as we can about our stu­dents prior to com­mence­ment – in­ter­ests, strengths and ar­eas for im­prove­ment. This in­for­ma­tion as­sists in the de­ci­sions about class place­ments, the se­lec­tion of a tran­si­tion buddy and like-minded stu­dents to sup­port a child’s ar­rival.

Our home­room sys­tem pro­vides pas­toral sup­port in­clud­ing a per­sonal, so­cial and health ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme; and home­room teach­ers can re­fer stu­dents for ad­di­tional coun­selling sup­port if need be.

Fi­nally, our open-door pol­icy en­cour­ages any par­ent to meet with a teacher, coun­sel­lor or ad­min­is­tra­tor to dis­cuss their child’s progress. I reg­u­larly meet with fam­i­lies of new stu­dents to dis­cuss tran­si­tions, and of­ten to pro­vide re­as­sur­ance that ev­ery­thing will work out well – which I truly be­lieve it will.

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