Moving to a different home and school district is an adjustment for everyone, especially your children as they start a new school. Planning ahead and handling the challenges proactively will make for a smoother transition for everyone. When buying a home it is easy to get distracted by your responsibilities, but remember your kids are feeling a little lost and can use some extra attention and support.
Between the packing and unpacking, getting used to a new environment, and settling into the new home, it can be quite stressful for all involved. For those with kids, the stress is compounded by the massive changes involved. There can be quite a bit of nervousness leading up to the first day of school in a new school, and during their initial days of school as they try to make new friends instead of seeing familiar, friendly faces.
The Effects of Moving on Children
Researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga discovered that adults who had moved a lot as children often had trouble adjusting to change, and were more likely to become introverted and have a lower well-being.
Many people may worry about a move leading to an increased possibility of bullying and the resultant low self-esteem. You cannot always avoid a move, but armed with this information, you can help your children adjust after transition and stay happy and healthy. The personality of a child, as well as the reasons for a move, are both important factors in how a child responds to a relocation. There may always be some stress involved, but as parents, you can help mitigate those feelings by following these tips.
Visit the neighborhood in advance. Go explore on evenings or during the weekend, and look for local parks and playgrounds … research that neighborhood. Visit the local library, start to pick out kids the same age and you’ll probably find some kids who will be in your kids’ school.
Meet your child’s teacher: Exchange emails or go to the school to speak in person outside of the crowded meet the teacher day, and give the teacher a letter about your child to help them understand your kid’s strengths, challenges, and fears.
Look for local activities: Joining a little league team or a scout initiative can help your kid feel more part of the group and let you meet other parents in the community as well.
Stay in touch with old friends: Ensure your child can keep in touch with old classmates, whether through Skype or phone conversations and consider meetups if possible.
Join the PTA: Getting to know other kids’ parents is a good way to help your kid out – the other children’s parents will encourage their children to make friends with yours and be more likely to let them hang out, come over and play, etc. if they know you as well.
Finally, make sure your kid feels comfortable speaking to you if they are having trouble adjusting to their new home and school. Don’t be so super positive that they feel they are letting you down by not pretending to be excited and happy. Supporting your child through the transition is the best way to ensure they stay well-adjusted and healthy after a move.
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