Category Archives: Children

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Moving? How to Help Kids Adjust to a New Community

Moving can be exciting and exhilarating for people of all ages. Moving brings the promise of a fresh start, interesting places and faces, and new adventures.

But moving also means leaving friends, familiar places, and sights of home behind. While leaving these things behind is hard for adults, children and teenagers often experience additional difficulty. Children may feel intimidated by the thought of living in a new town, attending a new school, and making new friends.

Moving doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating though. Use the tips below to help your kids adjust to a new community.

Make Special Considerations for Children of Different Ages

Your children’s ages and personalities affect how they will respond to moving. While one of your children might adapt easily to a new place, another might need more help and emotional support to make the adjustment. Keep the following in mind:

  • Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers will not understand the meaning and complexity of a move. They don’t interact with very many people outside of the home, and they don’t experience change very often. Young children thrive on predictably, so try to keep their routines as normal as possible once you’ve moved.
  • Elementary school-aged children want to fit in with their peers. As a result, your children might feel scared about living in a new community. Focus on the excitement of attending nervous-boy-back-to-schoola new school and meeting new people. Tell them about a person or group of people, such as immigrants, who overcame their fears to come to exciting new places.
  • Although teens are old enough to understand the need to move, they might resist change. Teens may feel like they can’t establish valuable friendships in a new community, which might make it hard for them to transition into a new school. Moving is especially hard on teens who participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. To help ease your teens’ worry, research the programs in your new town. Does the high school have a state championship swimming team? Is there a state-of-the-art performance hall?

You have to focus on the positive to help kids transition to a new. Listen to their questions and concerns, and reassure them that they have things to look forward to.

Provide Support After the Move

The first few months in a new town prove volatile for many children, so pay extra attention to their emotional needs. Here are a few ways you can provide emotional support as your children settle into a new community:

  • Explore your new community. Visiting nearby parks and finding the best local restaurants can help your whole family feel more at home.

    Teenagers Basketball

    Photo credit: USNews.com

  • Find ways for your children to get involved in the new community. If your children participated in music or drama clubs in your former town, help them get involved in the same activities in your new town.
  • Encourage your children to express their feelings. Many children want to know that they have a friend and confidant who understands what they’re going through. You can be that confidant. Listen carefully and intently as your children vent their frustrations. Don’t get short with them, as this can make them feel even more insecure.

Set an Example for Your Children

Children of all ages take cues from their parents, especially in new or scary situations. As you settle into your new community, model the kind of behavior and attitude you want your children to adopt. For example:

  • Socialize with families in your new neighborhood. If you encourage your kids to get involved in the community but never leave the house, your children might take this is as a sign that they don’t need to branch out. Invite your neighbors and their children over for a dessert night. This will allow your children to meet new people in a nChildrenon-threatening setting.
  • Stay up-to-date on events at school and in the community. The more you know and learn about your new community, the more your children will feel at home. On the other hand, the less you know about the community, the less likely your children are to embrace their new surroundings.
  • Don’t complain about your new house or community in front of your kids. Chances are, you’ll feel frustrated or stressed about unpacking and settling into a new home. Try not to let your children see this frustration. If they hear you badmouthing your new community, they might do the same. This makes it harder for them to settle in.

Adjusting to a new community doesn’t have to be stressful or scary for you or your children. Focus on the positive aspects of the new community. Provide outlets from your children to vent their feelings and frustration. Set an example for them to look to as they adjust. By helping them feel at home in a new community, you’ll be able to enjoy your new adventure that much more.

Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

Save on Back to School Shopping

With another busy moving season wrapping up, it is about time to get your kids ready for school and with that comes back to school shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family is expected to spend $606 per child for back to school shopping. If you have more than one child, the dollars add up fast. Here are a few ways to save this year:

Take inventory – Take inventory of what your child already has for clothes and shoes in order to avoid burning money on items that are already in the closet. Take the opportunity to teach your child a lesson in charity and donate any outgrown clothes or shoes. Articles of clothing that are beyond repair can be torn up and used as rags for cleaning.

Also, take inventory of office supplies sitting around the house. You may find some notebooks, folders, pens and pencils that can be of used for the upcoming school year.

Create a shopping list with your child and stick with it – After taking inventory you will have a pretty good idea about what items are needed for the year ahead. If you have just moved, be sure to consider what might be needed with the weather at your new home. Sit down with your child and discuss what supplies they think they will need. Stick to the list and avoid falling for the deals that aren’t needed.  Just because an item is “on sale” doesn’t mean you’re saving money by buying it. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Take advantage of sales tax holidays – This is a great way to save if your state offers it. There are different requirements for each state, so do your research and double check what is being offered.

Plan lunch – If your child does not eat school lunch, you will most likely be the one to prepare it. The best way to do this is plan lunches for a week out by making a grocery list and sticking with it. Check for weekly deals on meat products and other items used for lunch. Consider going to big box stores to stock up on items that are non-perishable.

Get next year’s supplies this fall – The best and cheapest time to get school supplies is after school has already started. Stock up on supplies for the following school year or for next semester.

Back-to school swap – Coordinate with mothers of children the same gender as yours but different ages to host an annual clothes swap.  This is a great way to meet families in the area after moving, while saving money, too!

Track the sales and shop online – The easiest and most time-effective way to compare sales is online. It’s also easier to find coupons online and use them on the spot when purchasing items. By shopping online, you are also saving on gas and lunch that usually goes into a day of shopping.

Use apps to get some couponsShop Kick, Retail Me Not and Target’s Cartwheel offer coupons based on your location. With Target’s app, you can scan items and it will bring up their available coupons.

Happy shopping!