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Moving is not only stressful on adults, but it can be devastating to kids and teens, especially when it happens in the middle of a school year. The thoughts of leaving all their friends and everything familiar, to suddenly be thrust into a new neighborhood and school system can make your kids miserable. However, the move may be inevitable, but the fear and bad attitudes don’t have to be. Check out our tips on helping your kids move in the middle of a school year.
Easing the Stress of Moving into a New Home
One of the most important things you can do for your child is to try and make the move as stress-free and easy as possible. One of the ways to accomplish this, is to let your child be a part of the process. Take them along when you are looking at potential homes. When you find the one, let them see what their new room looks like and allow them to make plans for their own painting and decorating style.
Another good plan is to allow your child to throw a going away party where he or she can invite all their friends and neighbors. This is not only a nice way to say goodbye, but it allows your child to get some closure.
Easing the Fear of a New School
Although you may never be able to totally put your child at ease when starting a new school, there are ways to help the process along. If possible arrange ahead of time to bring your child to their new school to meet the teacher and principal. Have the new teacher give them the class curriculum so they know where they are at in comparison to their old school. This gives your child a pre-lay-of-the-land, rather than just dropping them into the mix. In addition, while you are there ask about any clubs or sporting activities that your child is interested in – having something to look forward to can make a move less fear-based and more of an adventure.
Check Out the New Neighborhood
Once you move in (or even before) be sure to check out your new neighborhood. If there are parks or recreational centers visit them often so your child has a chance of meeting new kids. This is also a good idea with your neighbors. Go around and introduce yourself and your family. Who knows, there just may be some kids the same age as yours that will give them a leg up when starting the new school.
Moving is difficult on everyone, so take time out to be extra patient and understanding with your kids. Some children are more outgoing and will have no problem adjusting to a new school, whereas others may need some time. Let your child take whatever time he or she needs to get into the rhythm of a new school and making new friends. Encourage them to invite new people over to your new home – this will help the process of friendship building as well as give you an opportunity to meet the new kids. If your child doesn’t seem to be adjusting well to the new home, provide them with one-on-one opportunities to talk through their problems and concerns. Sometimes just articulating fears will help put them into prospective.
Moving is hard on the whole family, so follow these helpful tips to help your kids with a middle of the school year move. It’s well worth the extra effort if it means your child will be happy and less stressed about the whole process.