surface. Encourage your children to maintain
contact with former friends, even while trying
to make new friends. Exchanging photos,
having e-mail access and possibly a cell
phone with a camera feature can help bridge
the gap between old and new friends during
the early weeks in a new location.
DEALING WITH CHALLENGES
Keep in mind that every stage and every age
can bring new challenges. Children who
sailed through the last move could be in
an entirely different place emotionally and
physically for this move, so parents cannot
assume that a child will ease into the current
move. Routinely share accomplishments and
challenges with each other and talk about
ways to overcome difficulties. Children need
to know that even though the parents are
responsible for uprooting them, you both
have challenges to face, and you need to
work together as a family to solve them.
The following signs may indicate that children are struggling with the adjustment:
sudden reading difficulties, changes in attention span or study habits, weight loss or gain,
altered enthusiasm or energy levels, strained
relationships with you or their siblings,
or disturbed sleep patterns. Stay closely
involved with your children during the early
months in a new location so you know how
they are feeling, what they are thinking and
who their new friends are.
Consider volunteering or get involved with
the school so that you can see for yourself
how your children are managing. Both adults
and children need the stability and comfort of
established routines, so keep the same rules,
bedtimes, mealtimes, allowances and expectations that you had before moving. Refer to
the Tips for Settling In sidebar for more great
info to help both you and the kids.
CHILDREN AND SAFETY
When children are in an unfamiliar environ-
ment, they can easily forget basic safety rules.
The following are always a good reminder:
• Keep close to a parent, and take
an adult’s hand in crowded areas.
• Carry personal identification and phone
numbers to contact parents at all times.
• Write down three or four goals to achieve in your new city.
• Continue all your special family celebrations and traditions.
• Share some of your family’s special recipes and cultural aspects
with new acquaintances and neighbors.
• Keep a log of new experiences and accomplishments.
• Give everyone in the family manageable moving chores (taking
care of practical matters will take the edge off homesickness).
• Join an athletic or special interest group.
• Get involved in community and/or religious organizations,
especially those that sponsor activities, volunteer efforts and
programs for newcomers.
• Learn about the local government, issues and politics.
• Most importantly, be patient and take one day at a time.