Summer typically is a time when families have opportunities to slow down a little and reconnect. Summer is also a time when many families move; taking advantage of a “clean break” in the school year. Whether you are moving with your family during the summer or your move happened weeks or months ago, summer is a good time to reconnect with your kids and their adjustment to the new normal.
A previous blog post discussed staying connected with kids during a move. Reconnecting after a move is equally important. Based on variables like age, developmental level, and temperament, all kids (and all adults for that matter) adjust differently to change and transition. Planning time to reconnect helps parents to uncover any new or ongoing challenges. Some of the challenges kids face include:
- Making new friends – Even the most outgoing kids can have difficulty making new friends after a move. This article from education.com outlines some techniques to help kids make new friends including learning not only how to make good friends but how to BE a good friend. Teaching kids to be a good friends starts with role modeling. Pay attention to how you speak to other people and talk to your kids about being kind, speaking kind words to others and having an expectation that a good friend should treat them with kindness as well.
- Adjusting to school - Helping kids get involved in clubs and after-school activities sets them up to look at their school as a safe place, a place to belong. If your family move is happening now during the summer months, make sure to set up time to visit the school before the first day and block your calendar to be available for those first-day-of-school transition challenges.
- Staying in touch with old friends – This is important for both parents and their children. You want to give kids time to grieve the loss or change in established friendships. You also want to help facilitate keeping that connection as long as your child needs it. Some friends are “forever friends” and some friendships might fade a little at a time due to the distance. Regardless of when the friendship ends, kids will need some support during the grieving process.
As humans, we are born for connection. Anything parents can do to help kids form healthy, productive connections in their new community and school will go a long way to easing the typical transitions when moving.
For more information about the Moving Families Initiative®, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.
This material is provided for information purposes only. World Class Coaches® does not endorse the organizations or products contained in the links provided in this post.