My kids are in 2nd grade, 4th grade and 7th grade. We have to move to a new school district across town. I am concerned they will have problems adjusting to new friends, especially the 4th and 7th grader. How can I help my kids move to a new school? Asked by Karin – Biloxi, Mississippi
It may not be that easy to make the adjustment, but the need to make adjustments are common in life and they are lucky that they will get to learn how to do this with you as their support system. I would sit down with each one individually and let them know you are their partner in this transition and that although it can be scary, it is also really exciting to make new friends.
Get them involved in the solution and talking to you about their process. Ask them what you can do to help. Ask them what their primary concern or fear is and help them to create their own strategies and solutions. Also, since you will still be in the same town, they can continue their old friendships, especially during the transition. Having a weekly play date with one of their old friends might help them to muster the courage to make new ones.
Finally, if you can make new friends too, with the parents in the new school, you will be a bridge between your children and the children of your new friends.
Good luck and have fun! Jamee – 40 something
We did our share of moving. We moved when the kids were in Kindergarten and 5th grade and again when they were in 2nd and 7th grade. And it really depends upon your child. My son was always eager for the challenge of a new place and new friends. My daughter, who was much younger, was always worried about making new friends and very sad to leave her friends. She always seemed more aware of the real consequences. But in each case, each move, they both made friends fairly quickly. Of course, as the parent you play a big part in how the move goes. I would suggest immediately getting them on the soccer team, brownie troop of the new school. We made the mistake of keeping on the old school’s teams and it made the transition take longer I think. And then as the parent you can also help by making sure that the new kids are invited over for play dates and to your children’s birthday parties. Getting involved in the new school’s PTA is always a good way to transition also. Good luck! Ann G. – 50 something