If you have a household move planned and have children, it’s essential to help them navigate their new environment — including adapting to the new neighborhood.
Children who have good interactions with friends are generally happier and less anxious throughout their lives. By making and keeping friends, they also develop social skills that help them later in life.
To facilitate making these new friendships, help your kids explore the new neighborhood before you move. Once you’ve unpacked your child’s room and have given them a tour of your new house on moving day, the next important step is to help them meet new friends.
Locate Children in the Neighborhood
Ask your new next-door neighbors if other children live in the neighborhood and, if so, where. Or look for signs such as bicycles or other toys on the lawn. Make arrangements to meet those families.
Go to the playground or community center for activities that would draw families with children.
Organize a Play Date
Once you’ve found children in the neighborhood that are about the same age as your child, organize a play date. Suggesting activities may help break the ice; for example, would they like to play at the local park, play a sport, or do an art activity?
Encourage your child to join groups or clubs so that they can meet other kids their age with similar interests. Check out academic or agriculture clubs, sports teams, music or art clubs, Scouts, or faith-based groups. If you can volunteer to lead or assist with these groups, this may make your child feel more comfortable joining. It also provides the bonus of you meeting other parents.
Throw a Party
Invite neighborhood kids and school kids to a party at your home, a neighborhood park, or a community center. Prepare invitations and accompany your child around the neighborhood to deliver them. Also, encourage parents to attend so that you can meet them, as well.
Get copies of the calendar of events at the community center, watch local bulletin boards, and read newspapers to find local family-friendly activities. Park districts offer many opportunities in some towns. Visit the library and ask the librarian for resources. Take your child to fun events. It’s a great way to introduce them to new people.
If you have specialty children’s stores in your neighborhood, visit those together. Storytimes at the library or book stores are also great to attend.
Talk to Your Child
Let your child know that they are not the only one who needs to make friends in this new place. The whole family is making this adjustment together. Help them understand that the move is good for the entire family. Stress those positive aspects of the relocation for the child, such as having their own room or a larger yard.
Model Good Relationships
Offer your child the opportunity to see you meeting and interacting positively with your new friends. Read books about friendship with them.
While making new friends is essential in your new neighborhood, avoid over-scheduling your children. Allow some time for them just to hang out and get comfortable in their new house.
Helping with a Family Relocation
If you have kids, a relocation is even more stressful. With all of the packing, planning, loading, and unloading, wouldn’t it be nice to have some help? We can assist with your relocation. Contact us today for a free quote. Let us help make your family move simple.