inourplace | Solihull Approach


Talking to your children about starting school:

How to support your child's emotional wellbeing

Starting a new school can be a daunting experience for any child. They have to navigate the complexities of separation, independence, and building new relationships. As parents, it’s natural to want to shield our children from any discomfort or anxiety they may feel during this transition. However, normal fears and worries accompany each stage of development. Our role as parents is not to dismiss these feelings but to help our children cope and grow through them. 

Adolescence, particularly, is a time of exploration and self-discovery. It’s a period where children begin to assert their independence, separating from their parents to find their own path. Starting a new school can amplify feelings of uncertainty and apprehension as they step into the unfamiliar. Although changing, parent relationships remain most important for that safe space children need to express their fears without judgment or criticism.  

One concept that can be particularly helpful in supporting children through times of emotional upheaval is containment. Containment involves helping a person manage their emotions, such as anger or guilt, so they don’t become overwhelmed. It’s about holding onto those feelings and giving them back in a way that’s manageable and bearable. As parents, we can serve as ‘containers’ for our children’s emotions but in order to do so we may also need to talk through our worries with another adult so we can be fully open to hearing and supporting our child. After all, their worries are often different 

Some ideas to help with those important conversations: