Although conventional wisdom suggests that kids are very adaptable, the truth is that change is tough for everybody–both children and adults. While some children can quickly adapt after a move to a brand new neighborhood, other kids find it difficult to settle in, fit in, and find new friends. It’s important for parents to tune in to their kids’ struggles so they can help them to discover ways to adapt and places where they are apt to make new friends.
Get to Know the Neighborhood
Moving to a new neighborhood can seem scary for kids who don’t know the streets or where other kids can be found. Be sure to check with your realtor’s website where you can click to read more about parks and recreation centers in your new area. Your realtor can help you discover amenities in your new community where kids can be found. From children’s sports leagues to community centers that offer art classes, you can help your child acclimate to their new neighborhood when you familiarize them where parks, preserves, and sports fields are situated.
Tech time among kids gets a bad rap, especially when it cuts into homework time. Yet technology can help kids face the challenges of their move by allowing them access to the support back home. Children can keep in touch with their old friends using the chat features on internet-based games or even on phones if they’re old enough to have them. Help your kids set up an email account or even a blog that will help them remain in touch with their friends.
Visit the Library
The library can be a haven for children who have just moved into the neighborhood. Most libraries invariably offer programming for children of all ages. Attending these activities in the community is a great way to meet other kids who also live in the surrounding area. The library has historically been a place that draws introverted kids who may be too shy to insert themselves into playground activities. Through reading clubs and library entertainments, your child might find some relief during this otherwise stressful period.
Friendships, as we all know, don’t always bloom overnight. As your child begins a new school and their new life in a new neighborhood, it’s more important than ever to spend quality time together. Take in a movie at the local theatre or seek out a first-rate bakery for treats. Parents can ensure that home time, at least, remains happy and stable even if everything else seems chaotic and new.
Give Them a Forever Friend
Dogs and cats may not live forever, but they can forever live in a kid’s heart. A new toy or a bigger house isn’t going to fill the void for a child that feels like they’ve just lost all their friends due to a move, but a new pet will definitely soften the blow and give them a healthy new focus. If you are able to have pets in your new home, consider this option if your child is an animal lover. Sometimes pets can make the best friends and can certainly become treasured new members of the family.
Feed Their Interests
From ballet class to hockey club, hobbies and activities have a way of taking up kids’ time in healthy ways. If your kids enjoy certain activities, make sure that they continue to have access to their favorite hobbies and pastimes after you move. These pursuits may also lead to new friendships. By continuing to do their favorite things, however, kids won’t feel as though they’ve lost everything that has to do with their old life. It will provide them with a thread of continuity.
Books are, indeed, the antidote to loneliness. Reading is important for kids’ development in so many ways, but books can also be the friends that rely on when times are tough. Talk to your kids’ teachers about books that may be ideal for their age. You might even find books that highlight the challenges of moving. If your child isn’t a fan of fiction, help them discover the world of non-fiction with books that satisfy their individual interests.
Even the experts assert that moving can be hard for kids. Some will even experience genuine depression over the event. Yet overcoming the difficulty can also bolster your children’s resilience. Be sure to communicate with them throughout the settling-in process so that you know exactly how they feel. When you know how they feel, you’ll be able to find more ways to help.
Noah Turnbull has not only use his life-coaching skills to earn a living but he also applies what he knows in his own family situation. He enjoys sharing his insights online and writes regularly for a number of different websites.