By Maria Patterson
Moving to a new city or state is filled with many different exciting possibilities – new home, new job, new restaurants to try. But for kids, relocating is fraught with fear – new school, new faces, new neighborhood.
Former Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive back Johnnie Johnson has started an organization to help children in this exact situation. As the CEO of World Class Coaches, an organization that facilitates the Moving Families Initiative, Johnson helps connect relocating families with the right resources – teachers, counselors, service providers, real estate professionals, etc. – to ensure a smooth transition.
If there’s a relocation in your future, here are a few ways to help your kids adjust and embrace their new home:
Do your research. If you can’t visit your new community together in advance, do some research and find out what attractions may be particularly interesting to your child. Perhaps a great zoo or aquarium if he or she is an animal lover, a beach for swimmers, or an amusement park for fun seekers. Get your child excited about all the new places to explore.
Get to know families with same-age children. Invite them over or arrange for a play date at the park. This will help your child bridge the often difficult gap of making new friends.
Get them involved. The sooner your child gets involved in the local activity of their choosing the better. Scouts, dance, sports, music – joining in with children who share the same interests is the quickest way for your child to get acclimated and feel like they belong.
Enlist a support group. New teachers, coaches, guidance counselors and clergy can all play a critical role in helping your child adjust, so get them on board right away.
Acknowledge their feelings. Most important of all, allow your child to mourn the loss of their former home, community and friends. Let him or her know these feelings are normal and that you, too, miss your old home sometimes. This will help your child process these feelings more quickly and move on to the new possibilities at hand.
Remember to keep the sense of adventure going and continue to highlight the positives about your new home and location. Spend extra time with your child too, as you explore your new surroundings together. In no time, they’ll settle in nicely… and so will you!
I hope you found these tips useful. Contact me for more helpful home advice and real estate information.