How can I make settling in easier for my children?
For most adults, settling in involves making large adjustments to a new community, new social contacts and perhaps a different style of living. By and large, most parents make these adjustments successfully.
But what about children? For youngsters, a relocation can be either a traumatic or a delightful new experience with much depending on how the parents handle the move.
Here are some tips for parents:
- Parents positive attitudes about a new environment inspire positive attitudes in children.
- Schedules kept as normal as possible help give children the extra security needed in the new surroundings.
- Calling on new neighbors allows children to meet other children who may live nearby.
- Ask for academic tutoring if a new school is dramatically different from a childs old school, and give the child much encouragement and praise.
- Parents should be available at mealtime, bedtime and after school, to listen and to share in their childrens new experiences.
- Signing up a child for one or two activities, sports or lessons helps the child meet new friends and establish or continue special interests. Ask the school if they have a "buddy program" for new kids, especially a neighborhood bus buddy.
- Listen to special requests for clothing, bikes and other equipment that may not have been a "necessity" in the previous neighborhood but can help a child get along with new peers.
- Visits to the old home and visits from old friends help a child adjust, while maintaining a sense of roots.
- Patience is important during the whole adjustment period; finding a new sense of "home" takes time.