Moving can be hard for the whole family, but it’s often terrifying for children. A move means leaving friends, getting used to a neighborhood and starting school as the new kid. If the move happens in the middle of the school year, the adjustment will be even more challenging.
There’s a lot to take care of when you relocate. There’s packing, finding a new place to live, updating your accounts and taking care of the endless details of pulling up roots. By far the most important task is helping your kids make the adjustment.
You can make a move a little easier by hiring a professional mover. Let Smooth Move People take care of packing, loading and transporting. We’re a Portland moving company offering services in the Portland-Vancouver-metro area.
How to Help Kids Adjust to a New School
Set a relaxed, positive tone. Spend time with your children and be open to questions about the move. Here are a few ways to help your kids make the transition:
Meet neighbors: If there are kids in the neighborhood, introduce yourself to their parents. Invite kids and parents over for a casual dinner, playdate or barbecue. Children have an easier time starting school if they’ve already made friends.
Practice getting to school: Both you and your kids should know the way to school. Whether they will be walking, taking the bus or riding on public transit, do a practice run before the first day. Time the commute so your child knows when to leave home. Be sure kids know their new address, your phone number and an emergency contact number.
Take a tour: Ask school administrators if you can tour the buildings and grounds. When you visit, ask lots of questions. Teenagers may want to visit independently. Encourage them to do so.
The first day: Go with your child on the first day of school. For teens, this might mean dropping them off or walking them to the office. For young kids, you may be able to stay for part or all of the day. If that’s not possible, accompany your child to their classroom. Meet their teacher before you leave. Pack a special lunch and don’t forget to send your student off with a pep talk.
Extra TLC: During the first month or two, your child may need more support than usual. Be a good listener. Spend time together. Stay positive and encouraging. If your child isn’t adjusting, make an appointment to speak with teachers or the school counselor.
Join a team: If your children enjoy sports, music or other extra-curricular activities, make sure they continue to stay active and involved after the move. Being part of a team and sharing an interest is a natural way to gain a sense of belonging.
It Takes Time
Some people adjust quickly. Others take longer. As you help kids adjust to a new school, you may find comfort for your own challenges. There’s nothing quite like the love and support of family to make a strange place feel like home.