Help your child adapt to school

Adapting to a new school can be hard. Learn how to support your children as they adapt to school, and help them succeed.

Foto: iStock-1176301048

Ask your children about their feelings

A child might be having a hard time, but they will not always talk about how they are feeling. Ask them often how they are feeling, how things are in school, and if they have any problems. If you know what is happening at school, it may help you understand your child’s behavior at home.

Talk about school work

Talk to your child about what they are learning in school. Ask if they are having any difficulties with their classes. Maybe you can help them. If your child is having difficulties with some subjects or homework you cannot help with, you can talk to the teachers. Together with the teachers, you can decide how best to support him or her.

Keep supporting your child

If your child does sports or other activities, go to watch them if you can. Parents in Italy like to show up and show support for their children.

Always keep talking to your children. Your children may face some social problems because of coming to a new country. As a parent, the best way to support them is to stay connected.

Culture shock

If you are new in Italy and your children are starting school here, they will need some time to adjust. Daily life in Italy can be very different from life in another country. Your child will be in classes with children from other nationalities and different religions.

It can be difficult at the beginning to adjust. You can keep talking to your child about their new experiences. When they are struggling, you can remind them it is normal for new things to be hard until you get used to them. Learn more about culture shock.

Cultural advantages

Your child will also grow up learning about the culture and traditions of your country of origin. They do not need to choose between Italian culture and your home culture. Instead, they will have the chance to benefit from all the good parts of both. They will also learn about many other cultures and languages in school.

Enrolling in school

If your family has recently arrived in Italy, you will need to enroll your children in school. You may have certificates to show what grade your child was last in and what subjects your child has studied. You can show these to the school administrators to help them decide how to place your child.

  • Before age 16, children go to a class according to their age. However, sometimes school teachers can decide to put them in a different class.
  • After age 16, schools can decide to give students an entry test to decide the right level of education.


Bullying at school includes scaring, teasing, and humiliating other children. Bullies may force your child to do something. They often say cruel things. They may show prejudice against a child who looks different or comes from another culture. Bullies often do not realize the effect their actions and words can have. But it is still wrong and it should be treated seriously.

It can be difficult for a child to talk about being bullied. If you believe your child is being bullied or harassed at school by other children, you can talk to the teachers or school administrators about your concerns.

Be honest with the teachers

Schools are concerned with the children’ welfare and their education. Teachers can be very direct. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, remember that the teacher is trying to help your child. Together with the teacher, you will support your child by finding solutions if there is a problem.

Get help

For any concerns you have, the best starting point is discussing it with your child and your family. Then discuss a solution with the teachers.