Moving to another city - helping your big kid cope

Parentree-editors 2009-04-16 06:57:56

You have been handed over a transfer order in your office or you have accepted a new job in a new city. When you break this news at home, you will face  a mixed bag of reactions coming from the children.   A move or relocation will not only affect us parents but it will definitely affect the children very much.  For children, a large part of their world revolves around their school, teachers and friends. They will have apprehensions about the new place? How will the school and teacher be?  Will they be able to make new friends? 

Even before thinking about the school to be or the teacher to be, they are filled with grief at the thought of leaving behind their very good friends, and teachers with whom they built a very good relationship.  The unfamiliarity with the new place will give rise to certain apprehensions which should be put to rest quickly. Here are some tips on how to.

Communicating the news to your child

  • Communicate the news early
  • Explain to the child why the decision to move is better for everyone
  • Ask them to speak out about their apprehensions and try to clear them
  • Explain to them how they can help in the move

Make the move fun

  • Change their apprehension into enthusiasm by encouraging your children to invite their friends’ home and organize a farewell party.  The thought of having a party for friends itself will make the children very excited and they will actively get involved in organizing the same.
  • Go out for a picnic with family friends
  • Give your children an opportunity to meet and say goodbye all their teachers. Let them collect their contact numbers, email ids, and addresses. Encourage them to keep in touch with their earlier friends and teacher through email.
  • Give them some responsibilities during the move - like keeping a checklist of everyone who needs to be informed, or maintaining the packing list, or helping to pack some of their own things.

After the relocation - making friends

  • After relocating to the new place, it is a good idea if the parents consciously spend more time with the children - playing, talking, being together etc., This will help children adjust better knowing that the familiar interactions with parents have not changed due to the move.
  • Enroll them in extracurricular activities so that they get to meet more children of their age. 
  • Go to the play area in your new apartment complex or to the nearby park with your child. Introduce yourself to the parents there and help your child make new friends. With the help of the parents, they can easily mingle with the children of their age because parents just serve as ice-breakers.  Children being children, they will very soon adapt to the new conditions.

After the relocation - school

  • At the new school, put in a word with the teacher asking her to help the child settle in the class.  Reassurance from the teacher will help the child to settle down easily.  
  • For the first few weeks, spend more time talking to your child when she comes home from the new school.  This will help you quickly isolate if she is having any problems adapting.


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