Moving to a new state is exciting, but it can also be a big adjustment when you have children. On top of buying and moving into a new home, transferring to a new school is a concern. While this can be a stressful time in your life, there are changes you can make and things you can do to ensure you and your child have an easy adjustment in this often tumultuous time.
Talk About the Move Early
There is a lot to figure out when relocating to a new city or state. When you have children, having that tough conversation early on will give them more time to process the changes coming. Having that conversation prior will not only help them wrap their heads around the concept, but it will also give them time to say goodbye to their friends. And, it gives you plenty of time to start researching, enrolling, and reaching out to potential schools.
Encourage Maintaining Relationships from Your Hometown
A new city is an opportunity to meet new people and form great relationships. However, this is a scary thing for kids. Meeting new people can be extremely daunting, especially for younger children. One thing that you can do to make them more comfortable is to encourage them to maintain the friendships they are leaving behind. Before moving, make sure they have swapped personal information with those they want to keep in touch with and, as time goes on, encourage phone calls and maybe even meetups! It will assure them that they are not leaving everything behind for good. Let your children know that just because they’re moving, it doesn’t mean they have to lose those meaningful relationships.
Have A Positive Attitude
Explaining moving to your children is a tough conversation to have. The situation comes with many stressors and confusion. Broaching the topic with a positive attitude and having open communication makes it easier for your family. Feeling comfortable with asking questions about the logistics of the move with your positive attitude will help everyone feel more at ease. With young children such as toddlers and preschoolers, be sure to use simple language to help them better understand.
Do Your Research
Finding the best school for your children requires time. Research the area(s) you plan to move to and find the school that is the best fit for you and your family. If your child has disabilities, communicate with potential schools and advocate for your child on what care is needed to ensure an easy adjustment for them to receive their education. The metro Atlanta area is home to a number of excellent public school districts, top-tier private schools, and specialty schools, ensuring there is a good fit for every child.
Begin Enrolling Early
During the process of moving, it can be easy to forget upcoming deadlines for registration. Beginning ahead of time will not only prevent you from missing an important date, but it also will take an enormous item off your checklist. Conducting research beforehand will also help you out exponentially when you are deep in the throes of moving. Note that charter and private schools are likely to have waitlists, so starting the process as soon as possible is key if you’re considering one of these options. Families with younger children should investigate and contact daycare facilities early, as those tend to fill up quickly and also have waitlists. If you have a child with disabilities, starting ahead of time will give you plenty of time to communicate with potential schools.
Visiting the school you choose before the first day is also a fantastic way to help your child feel more comfortable. Walking through their schedule and visiting their classroom and teacher ahead of time will make that first day go much smoother.
Communicate with the School
While kids are resilient, it is possible that if your child is struggling with the move, they might not want to communicate it. Before that first day arrives, make sure you contact your child’s teachers and even the principal. Explain the move and establish positive communication. Letting the educators know about this adjustment in your child’s life is essential, especially if any adjustment-related issues arise during the school year.
Create a Routine as Soon as Possible
Developing and implementing a routine a few weeks before that first day is essential, especially for younger children. Get them used to how most of their days will go and establish parameters so that school mornings and evenings are smooth. For younger children, get them used to your absence for long periods by enrolling them in a daycare, arranging playdates, or even hiring a babysitter. Make sure to communicate that you are not leaving them behind and that they will see you soon. This conversation helps to reduce their anxiety and help them understand the situation.
Becoming involved is always vital while your child is attending school, but even more so when it is in a new city. Being involved in their educational experience will help them feel more adjusted and at home in this new place. It will also allow you to meet new people in the area!
Applaud Their Resilience
It is well-known how resilient children are, but it is never more apparent than during this change. No matter how well a child seems to be handling this new change, they are more than likely at least a little anxious. Taking time to applaud how well they are handling the situation is a great way to continue the conversation about moving and connecting with your children. Checking in with them will help you know how they are feeling throughout the process, and it will make them feel much better knowing you want to know how they are doing. Be prepared to talk through these positive or negative feelings and potentially enroll the help of their new school counselor to help you navigate these emotions.
Kids are superheroes. However, it is imperative to prioritize their adjustment to the new facet of their lives. Maintaining open communication and checking in with their feelings should be just as important as enrolling them in a new school. Relocating is a complicated process but not an impossible one! All the stressors that come with relocation should not take away from this exciting new chapter for you and your family.
For more news on relocating to metro Atlanta, visit our Atlanta News section.