Helping Kids Settle into a New Neighborhood
With the right mindset, moving isn’t a challenge, it’s an adventure. When your kids move somewhere new, there are some major unknowns confronting them: a new home, new friends and a new school. Here are some tips to help you guide your children through this period of change.
- Get settled at home: Make it a priority to get your child settled into their room so they can feel more comfortable with their surroundings and begin to adapt to the new place.
- Establish routines: Routine is a very important part of children’s lives. Immediately reestablish familiar family rituals, like having homemade pancakes on Saturday morning or whatever you enjoy doing together.
- Join activities: Get your child involved with sports teams, clubs and school activities as soon as you can.
- Make friends: Encourage your child to make new friends and invite them over. The neighborhood is a very good place to start. You might even consider throwing a housewarming party to meet other families in the neighborhood.
- Keep in touch with old friends: Help the kids stay in touch with old friends by phone or email. You may want to get them their own stationery set and stamps so they can write letters.
- Explore the new area: Becoming acquainted with the new area should be something you do with the entire family shortly after moving in. Finding a local pizza parlor will not only be a nice break from unpacking, but you also get to meet people in the community. Explore local sights, museums and recreation areas. Check the local paper for community activities. Adjusting to a new environment brings a lot of unknowns into a child’s life. Helping your kids settle into their new environment will be a blessing for everyone. And it only takes a little planning and guidance from you.
Helping Your Child Adapt to a New School
Changing schools can be a stressful experience for children. Because school is like a second home and is very often the center of children’s social life, it’s important to help them adapt as quickly as possible. Here are a few suggestions to help with this transition.
- Talk to your children: Before you choose a school, talk to your children so you can understand what their needs and preferences are.
- Find out the things they like best in their current school.
- Ask them what things they like the least.
- List the sports and activities that they want to continue.
- Ask what their core curriculum courses were for this year.
- Ask how they would feel if their new school is much larger, or much smaller, than their current school.
- School tour: Take your children on a school tour before you select the school so they can be part of the school decision.
- Dress style: During the school tour, note how the other students dress so you can help your children fit in. This may help diminish feelings of being the new kid on the block.
- What to expect: Let your children know what they can expect at the new school.
- What to look forward to: Highlight things that your children will like most about the new school.
- Potential obstacles: Prepare your children for potential obstacles they may encounter.
- Special programs: Find special programs that interest your children so they can join and begin to build friendships with their peers.
Most importantly, listen to and address your children’s concerns and feelings and help them adapt. This can be a great opportunity to bond and help your children learn important life lessons.