Relocating for a child can be scary
My parents decided that we needed to relocate to Florida when I was 9. My mother was originally born in Sarasota and we as a family needed a change from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Southern California.
Personally, I loved our life in California; we lived in a neighborhood full of kids. Everyone on our street was very close. We threw 4th of July block parties every year, went on vacations together and loved to create memories with each other.
When my brother and I were first told about the move we were both very excited.
How could we not have been? We were moving to FLORIDA!
The only place I had ever been outside of California was Missouri, and ironically that was to visit a neighbor that had moved away.
The idea of moving somewhere new was enticing and exciting! However, the reality of relocating in the middle of my 4th grade year was a little harder than I had expected.
Truth be told, I struggled.
I struggled to make friends and I struggled to put myself out there. I became very standoffish and wasn’t sure where my place was anymore. A confused, lost little girl who didn’t know how to process it all. Funny thing is as I type this I can’t help but see the similarities of my story and the Disney movie “Inside Out.” However, I was nowhere near as depressed as the little girl in the movie.
Complete squirrel moment… but… am I the only one who found that movie completely depressing?
Back on track.
I’ve been reflecting on the entire move and the struggle I had to remember who I was and how hard it was to regain a sense of purpose.
So, I want to provide you with a few tips that may help your child adjust a little easier.
Get them involved.
Sign them up for an activity, a sport, a club. Something… anything that will allow them to have a sense of purpose and an opportunity to make friends.
I know at times being a parent is exhausting (I have 3), but getting them involved in an activity and sticking with it is very important. There were many activities I loved as a child that I only did for a brief period. I wished I would have continued them.
Encourage them to make friends and involve yourself in those relationships.
Obviously making friends is the goal… but making sure your child is making good choices in the friend making department is crucial.
Encourage them to get involved at school and do whatever you can to help them succeed.
Do they want to try out for the cheerleading squad? Video tape the rehearsal so they can practice the routine at home. Maybe the football team is their goal. Help them get into shape and run drills on the weekends.
Spend time together.
One-on-one time is super important! Family time is crucial! Your child may be pushing you away… but try to remember… hurting people, hurt people. Squeeze them tighter and pull them closer! Never allow them to question your love for them!
Get a family counselor.
If you have tried getting them involved in clubs or extracurricular activities, if you’ve tried family time, if you’ve tried encouraging the building of new relationships and it doesn’t seem to get them back on track, you may need to bring in the big guns. They may need someone they can speak honestly to about their feelings and the sad reality is you may not be that person.