No matter how old you are, moving to a new city or town usually means leaving friends behind. For kids, leaving friends behind can be even more difficult with the fear that they won't make new friends in their new school or neighborhood. But there are ways to help kids adjust to a move and the changes it brings by helping them build new friendships.
1. Introduce them to their New School
If your child gets to know one child in their new school, it will help introduce them to other friends - often it's that first friend that is the most difficult one to make.
2. Sign Them Up for Local Activities
No matter what your child likes to do, you can usually find a club or team for them to join within the new school or neighborhood. Try to sign them up soon after moving as having them involved in the things they love will not only help them adjust to the move but will assist in finding and making new friends who have a common interest.
4. Host a Get-together with Other Parents
Hosting a housewarming party or a quiet get-together with other parents will not only help you make new friends but will encourage your children to do the same. Talk to parents of your child's classmates and parents in your new neighborhood to ensure a large enough group that there will be enough children for some fun games and activities.
5. Encourage Play Dates
Ask your child about their new classmates and who they'd like to set up a play date with. Play dates are a great way for your child to spend time outside of school with new friends and help you connect with other parents. Play dates also allow your child to spend time at another child's home which can help them feel more connected to their new neighborhood or town.
But make sure you don't push them to do something they're not comfortable doing yet. At first, host the playdates at your new home until your child feels ready to experience a new friend's home.
6. Be a Good Role Model
You've left behind friends, too, so make sure you act as a good role model for your children. Showing kids that you also need to make new friends will encourage them to do the same. Whether you make friends at your new workplace or through your child's school or other activities you enjoy, make sure you let your child know how important these relationships are and that you're making the effort to make new friends, too.
7. Talk to Your Kids but Don't Push
It's important that kids know that they can talk to you about any issues they're having in making new friends but at the same time don't feel pushed. It's a fine balance between encouraging and pushing so make sure your kids know that you understand how difficult it's been to leave good friends behind and to make new ones. Encourage them to stay in touch with the friends they left behind but also provide them with the right opportunities to make new ones. Just remember that your child needs to choose who their friends will be and all you can do is support their decisions.