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
CHILDREN AND SAFETY
When children are in an unfamiliar
environment, they can easily forget
basic safety rules. The following are
always a good reminder:
• 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