6 Ways for Kids to Stay in Touch With Friends After Moving

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Moving to a new home, town and school can be difficult for children, especially if they are leaving friends behind. Below are six ways your kids can stay in touch with friends after moving into a new neighborhood, whether that’s in Fort Worth, Sarasota, or Evanston. Use these tips to make the transition to your new town as seamless as possible.

1.) Pen pal 2.0: Setting up an email account for your child is an easy way to help them stay in touch with friends. If you’re not ready to give them full Internet freedom, use a kids’ email application like Tocomail to monitor their emails and contact list.

2.) Get social: Letting your child use social media is a big step for any parent. Take baby steps by creating a profile for your child on Yoursphere or KidzWorld. These kid-friendly social networks allow you to monitor your child’s online activity and lets them share updates with their BFF back home.

3.) Start new traditions: Creating new traditions post-move is a great way for your kids to maintain long-distance friendships. For example, your child can share photos of their life in your new home by using Postagram (iOS, Android/Free) to send a postcard of any photo to their friend for $0.99 cents.

4.) Digital study sessions: Help your child and former classmates reconnect through their school work. Use Google Hangouts to set up weekly chat sessions where they can discuss their upcoming science fair projects or summer reading lists. Tip: This idea works best for in-state moves where the curriculum is similar from school to school.

5.) Work with their teacher: Moving mid-school year can be stressful on younger children who have bonded with their classmates. Work with your child’s former teacher to set up a Flat Stanley project so they can keep in touch with every classmate in a fun way. After the project is completed, use an app like Polagram (iOS, Android/Free) to print each student’s Flat Stanley photo on a poster for your child to hang in their room as a keepsake.

6.) Plan a trip: If you are close enough, arrange time to visit with old friends. Use the Roadtrippers app (iOS, Android/Free) to find a point of interest between your old town and new town that both families can enjoy.

Moving with kids is never easy.   For more tips and strategies to make your move with kids successful, check out our guides on moving with kids under 10, and moving with teenagers.   Kerry Brown, a well-known child psychologist wrote both articles, and each offers actionable advice to make your kids adjust to the move and your new home more easily.

If you’re looking for ways to further settle into your new home checking out our 5 Ways to Decorate Your New Home for Less.   It comes chock full of tips on how to settle and decorate your new home on a budget.

Don’t forget tipping your mover on your move day.  We interviewed over 20 movers and wrote a definitive guide on how much to tip movers, give it a read before your move day so you’re not left scrambling trying to figure out a tip at the last minute.

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How to prepare kids under 10 for a move – tips and tricks from a child psychologist

MovingCompanyReviews note:   We’re delighted to have Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, write this post for us.   Dr. Brown Hasbrook is a well known Child Psychologist in the Chicago area, and recently moved with her three children.    Her post below gives some fantastic tips and tricks on how to make the moving day (and the weeks leading up to it!) less stressful with kids.

It is not surprising that moving is listed as one of life’s most stressful events! After all, you are not just relocating your physical belongings, but you are leaving behind your community, your friends, your schools, and all the well-worn paths you created over the years! Moving becomes more complicated when children are part of the equation. Now, you don’t just have yourself and your worries with which to contend (e.g., How do I find the local grocery store, Will I make friends, etc.), but also a whole host of concerns from your children and their different perspectives. As you embark on this exciting journey, it is important to keep routines as consistent as possible.

When my family relocated from Chicago to a nearby suburb, our children were 3, 5, and 7 years old. Knowing that much of parenting lies in the marketing, I knew that how I presented the upcoming relocation to the kids was important. I also knew that I was serving as the main model based on my attitude and behavior about the move. On a basic level, they knew a relocation was impending given the “For Sale” sign in front of our condo and the numerous, quick clean up toys and flush the toilet sessions before showings. Since we know that change is challenging for everyone, especially if you perceive that you have little or no control over things, my husband and I tried to involve the children in an age-appropriate manner from the outset.

Let’s face it, looking at prospective houses and schools is tremendously easier without children present. Once we narrowed down the town, however, we felt it important to bring them along so they could share their input and visualize their “new life” in the suburbs. Seeing their new school, new neighborhood, and new house greatly managed expectations and appeared to help the move feel less scary! We requested a meeting with the principal so our kids could see a smiling and friendly face belonged to the leader of their new school. As always, they noticed things that my husband and I might not have noticed. After these trips to visit houses and schools, instead of rushing back home, we always made time to stop at local parks to play. Again, a new fond memory at a park made it easier for the kids to imagine playing at that park with their new friends sometime in the future!

We also took time to talk to our children about their feelings regarding leaving the only home and city they knew. We tried to validate their feelings of sadness, fear, and excitement by saying things like, “Thank you for telling me about your worries about making new friends. That is a really normal feeling to have when you move to a new town. Mommy feels the same way too, but I know we are a friendly and kind family. I am sure we will make friends really quickly. Just watch!” This ongoing, open conversation was really helpful as my youngest child expressed sadness regarding “really missing” her toys in the future. We reassured her that all her toys were moving with us to the suburbs. Had we not created an open conversation, we would not have known that she thought her toys were being separated from her! That brings me to my next point, make sure when packing items, that your children’s most beloved possessions (for younger kids it’s usually a lovey or blanket) are not packed in a box, but carried with them or you, if possible! Those items can serve as a great source of comfort (we, psychologists, call them transitional objects) during a stressful time! Make sure to mark the boxes with children’s bedding and toys accurately so they can be the first boxes unpacked in the new house! Involve your children in setting up their new bedrooms. Why not give them control wherever you can by allowing them to select paint colors, to choose furniture placement, and other unimportant details!

Finally, allow your children to connect with their old friends when appropriate. In today’s digital age, it is easier than ever to FaceTime, text, or call friends. The timing of visits and playdates is important though. If your children return to their old schools, or old friends’ houses before they have established enough connections or roots in their new community, it can be painful and delay their adjustment.

Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist