How to Help Your Kids Handle a Move in the Middle of the School Year

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Sometimes your job or other life circumstances cause you to move at the least convenient time. In fact, millions of Americans must move at a time that does not line up with the school calendar. If making a move means your child will be starting a new school in the middle of the school year, sometimes moving at “the wrong time” can actually be a good thing.

Before you decide on a new home, be sure to ask your real estate agent about the quality of the schools in each neighborhood. A school with a good reputation is likely to have students who are less disruptive, which will make it easier for your kids to transition.

The Benefits of Moving In the Middle of the School Year

If you ask a lot of parents who started their kids at a new school after the school year started, many will tell you that the untimely move actually worked out well for their family. For one thing, teachers can give a new student a little extra attention. That’s because the classroom is settled into a routine, and the teacher knows the classroom dynamic. It’s not the same at the beginning of the year when the classroom dynamic is uncharted. Another good thing is that the other kids will welcome something new. They’ll be more inclined to introduce themselves and reach out to your child.

Be Supportive of Your Child

One woman who had gone to five different schools while growing up as an “army brat” explained that she and her three younger siblings coped because they had a very stable family life. While life at a new school could be disorienting, they could always come home to a stable home environment. If you’re not comfortable with the move, you could be dealing with your own negative feelings and thoughts. However, it’s important to remember, that ultimately your move is in the best interest of your family. A better job will mean a better quality of life. Likewise, if you are moving away from an abusive spouse, your life is definitely looking up. Look at moving as an opportunity to grow and share your optimistic outlook with your children.

Understand that It’s Normal for Your Kids to Be Upset

It’s important to give your children the time and space they need to make the adjustment. Your children may show their upset by crying, or with fits of anger. Moving with children is never easy. Give them time to adjust to their new environment. Don’t take it personally or second guess your decision to move. Brooding over the “what-ifs” will not help the situation. Know that the move is what’s best for your entire family and that your job as a parent is to stay positive and face any challenges head-on.

While moving is stressful on many levels, keep in mind, it’s also moving you forward on many levels. Life presents many challenges, and your kids need a challenge in order to learn, outside the classroom.

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