employed, use any free time to enjoy your new community. Refer
to the Advice for Volunteers website for guidance in selecting a
volunteer position and Monster.com for spouse assistance in the
Helpful Websites sidebar.
SUCCESSFULLY RELOCATING YOUR
The majority of relocating families have dependent children. If you
are moving with children, you probably researched schools before
moving; however, personal school visits will transform the unknown
into reality. Visits to new schools to survey the classrooms and meet
teachers will go a long way to allay your, and your children’s, worries
about the new environment.
Listen carefully to each child’s concern—every move can
bring new issues to the 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, although 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.
• 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
• 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.
American Medical Association www.ama-assn.org
American School Directory www.asd.com
National Association of Child Care Resource www.naccrra.org and Referral Agencies
Elder Care Locator www.eldercare.gov
American Animal Hospital Association www.healthypet.com Hospital Locator
Advice for Volunteers www.serviceleader.org
Parents Without Partners, Inc. www.parentswithoutpartners.org