We know from census statistics that over eight million children move annually with their families. That’s eight million kids experiencing transition, which extends much longer than getting that last box unpacked. School is a primary world for kids as they spend at least 30 hours a week there and countless hours doing “follow up”. (aka homework)
Helping our kids with the transition of moving revolves around many factors, school being primary among them. Transitioning to a new school is never “easy” but it can be a slice of P.I.E.
- P is for parental attitude – Whether you’re communicating about the move in general or about school transition specifically, your attitude sets the tone. Some kids need a cheerleader, some need a sounding board, some just need to know everything will work out. Stay in tune with your child’s transition needs by asking questions and listening more.
- I is for involvement – Get involved with the school as early as possible. Schools and school systems deal differently with student relocation, some better than others. If you are moving during a school break, make sure to attend “Back to School” nights and parent-teacher conferences. Contact school personnel prior to the move to see what they have in place for helping new students transition.
- E is for encouragement – Children who were independent may need more support both emotionally as well as intellectually and socially. They may need parents to facilitate social encounters at a higher level than before the move. Kids are out of their comfort zone and when the safety net doesn’t seem to be there, they need lots and lots of encouragement in a variety of forms. Let your kids know you are there, read silent cues, listen and simply be present.
No parent should move without a written game plan to help your children deal with the difficulties they face when moving.
For more information about the Moving Families Initative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.