Understanding your child’s temperament
The key to success when moving to a new neighborhood and school is understanding your child’s temperament.
Not only are you moving to a whole new neighborhood with new children, people and surroundings, they will also be attending a new school. Many parents dread this double whammy of a transition, but despite the challenges there are a few steps you can take to make sure your child has the best chance at a smooth move.
Understanding how your child responds and reacts to change will be helpful. Children do not act the same as adults do during periods of change. For example, if you have a child who deals with change easily, you will have noted early on that he or she seems fairly adaptive during the endless transitions of childhood. Moving from classroom to classroom, birthday party to play dates without creating a scene. Chances are this kind of child will require little extra preparation, beyond common sense, before entering a new neighborhood and school.
On the other hand, if your child has had difficulty with transitions you will need to put in more effort. The best way to successfully prepare is to keep this word in mind – practice! Practicing ahead of time helps your child become familiar with a new situation without needing to face things head on. Psychologists call this process “de-sensitization.”
Practicing the transition
1. Practice the route that the school bus or you will take from your house, by driving there together.
Kids feel reassured when seeing the exact trip ahead of time. Do a little homework and talk about the different landmarks along the way. This helps a child learn what the other kids are already familiar with, the basic geography of the area.
2. Get permission from the school to visit a few days before your child’s first day.
Most schools are open for teacher preparation, and most administrators are sympathetic to this request. Walk through the hallways, check out the gymnasium, cafeteria, and outdoor play areas.
3. Help your child practice socializing with the school personnel.
Make these encounters brief. Don’t expect much more from hurried teachers than a quick hello. Also, don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t have much to say either. This is just fine – for kids, such a practice visit is purely about scoping out the adults he or she will have to contend with, so real conversation is not a priority in a youngster;s mind.
4. Practice socializing with new families in the neighborhood.
Joining the local religious or community center is an easy, no-stress way to meet other families. You can also host a simple dinner, dessert, or afternoon play date at your house. Doing this kills two birds with one stone, not only are you setting your children up for success in a new social environment you are also practicing the art of becoming a good neighbor and forming new relationships.
The temperament of your child is the largest factor at play in this situation, but a few practice moves will make a huge difference. No matter how anxious you or your child are, with a little bit of preparation, you’re on your way to a smooth transition.
Nicholas DiMoro is the sales and marketing manager of MyProMovers, a moving company based in the Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland area. Read more about our company, or fill out our simple online form to receive your free moving estimate.
MyProMovers is the most affordable and reliable moving company in the Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland area. We pride ourselves on our attention to our customer's needs and we ensure that every move is completed on time and within budget. Call us today at 703-310-7333 if you're ready to choose a mover who cares.