Tips for Parents

Children may require help adjusting to a new school environment

  • Reassure the child that the teachers and school staff are there to keep her/him safe. Your child will build trust if they know you are leaving them in the care of someone you trust.
  • Try to visit the school before the first day of attendance and meet teachers, secretaries, guidance counselors, principal, bus driver etc
  • Contact teacher and staff with any questions or concerns you may have

Children need to know that there will be consistency in their lives to enable them to feel secure and trust adults

  • Maintain as much of a daily routine as possible
  • Reassure your child that you will always be there for them even if changes happen
  • Let your child know they are special to you. 
  • Remind them often that you love them
  • Acknowledge your child’s talents and abilities
  • Acknowledge your child’s progress and tell them you are proud of them
  • Schedule special “one on one” time with your child
  • Tell them when they do a good job
  • Hold your child and cuddle if it helps to make them more secure
  • Read with your child on a regular basis

Children feel what their parents feel.  They may feel guilty or frustrated for being homeless or living in a transitional situation.  Children may feel they are the cause of their parent’s negative feelings.

  • Reassure you child that they are not to blame for being homeless or in a transitional situation
  • Suggest ways they can help take responsibility (care for themselves and their belongings)
  • Remind your child of their strengths
  • Help your child to like themselves and feel proud
  • Tell your child how much you love them and you will always be there for them

Children may miss the things they remember from the past and wish their life could be the way it was before the transition

  • Talk about the changes in their life
  • Affirm their feelings.  (“It’s okay to miss the way things were before”)
  • Find humor in situations to help relieve tension
  • Tell your child how much you love them and that you will always be there for them

Children may worry when parents are upset

  • Be honest about your situation and explain it to your child in simple terms
  • Reassure your child that they will be safe and that the family will be there for them
  • Help your child to think of all their options
  • Plan ways to handle setbacks
  • Encourage your child by suggesting ways they can help
  • Remind your child of how special they are and that they have the strength to cope with their situation