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“My daughter hates her new school”

My daughter is normally a happy girl but she is having difficulty in settling into her new school. We had to move because of my husband’s job and her little brother was able to start at the new school as his first placement. Unfortunately, she was very happy and doing well at her old school and misses her friends. Her new teacher is lovely and being very helpful but we have tears almost every night and her sleep is disturbed too. I feel so guilty. Isabelle

Denise says:

You have nothing to feel guilty about. You didn’t move on a whim but as a necessity. Now you need to concentrate on helping your daughter settle in. Encourage her to keep some contact with her old school friends by phone and letter if it’s too great a distance for the occasional visit. Perhaps you could have one or two over for a weekend stay. This will stop her feeling bereft and she should then be more open to new friendships. Do all you can to encourage her to make new friends. Is she the right age for Guides or Brownies? Perhaps joining a local dance, gymnastics or music class would help. In the run up to Christmas, school plays and projects that get the whole class working together will help her integrate more too. Young Minds (youngminds.org.uk, 0808 802 5544) is an excellent organisation for advising on childhood traumas so ring them if the situation doesn’t improve, although I feel sure it will.

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