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How To Help Your Children Fit In After You Move

Mar 13, 2008
Moving can be difficult on children. Especially once they reach the age where they've made friendships outside their parents' social circle. For an older child, the thought of leaving their friends can make them feel a bit lost. They know intellectually that they will make new friends, but there's still that nagging worry in the back of their minds that they might not fit in. Many parents feel that there isn't much they can do other than be supportive as their children make the transition on their own. But, there are actually quite a few things you can do to help make the transition easier.

If at all possible, visit the neighborhood you're moving to with your children before you move. Just get them familiar with the area. Point out places they may be interested in such as stores, restaurants and other local attractions.

Visit the schools they will be going to after school hours or on the weekend. This will give your children a chance to familiarize themselves with the layout of the school without having to deal with social stress or the rush of trying to find their classroom. Tell them what you observe about the layout such as where the office, gym and cafeteria is, and how the classroom numbers are arranged.

Remember how vitally important fashion is to kids. No child wants to stand out too much. Individuality is one thing, but sticking out like a sore thumb can make them uncomfortable, especially at a new school. Take some time to help your children observe the fashion choices of kids at their schools. In order to preserve the social dignity of your children, you must be sly about this. No loud announcing of your observations within earshot of the other kids. Think secret spy mission. A good way to do this is to park with your children in the area near school where the kids walk home from school. Help your children make note of everything from haircuts and clothes to shoes and backpacks. You may find that even if you're moving just a few miles away, the fashion at the new school may be completely different, or you may find that a move of hundreds or thousands of miles doesn't reveal much change in fashion at all. Follow your children's lead on whether or not they want some new clothes or if they're comfortable with what they already have.

Sign your children up for outside of school activities right away. No matter what your children are interested in, get them signed up for the activities they enjoy. This is the time to follow their lead. If they've been involved in a certain sport for years and they've lost interest, ask them what else they may want to try. Getting your children involved in structured activities outside of school will give them something to look forward to while they navigate the social jungle of the new school, and it will give them a social circle outside of school in which to make friendships.

Remember also that it will take some time for your children to get used to their new surroundings. There will probably be some rough days while they adjust to the transition, but if you use these suggestions, things will go much more smoothly for your children.
About the Author
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