Learn About Your New City
A walking or bus tour, while fun for the whole family, actually serves to help you become acclimated and learn about the city. You can also visit local points of interest such as museums, parks and exhibits; enjoy a concert; and try out restaurants featuring local cuisine. Check out any services, activities, or organizations that are of particular interest to your family.
Spouse Career Considerations
One of the biggest challenges of moving is relocating a “second” career. If you, as a spouse, are transferring your job to a home office, then a computer, telephone, and email account may be all that you will need to get started. However, if your job was not “portable,” you might consider a new career, part-time or temporary employment, or perhaps even start your own business.
Evaluate your skills, accomplishments, and greatest strengths when you are planning your next endeavor. A few resources to tap are your spouse’s employer, local organizations, real estate offices with “Partner Career Assistance Programs,” independent career counselors, your university/college alma mater, and, of course, the local employment websites. If you are searching for a job, start networking by telling those you meet that you are looking.
If you have chosen to take a break from your career, consider volunteering your time and talent. Volunteering to a charitable organization is a wonderful effort as well as a way to meet new people and learn more about the community. Volunteer activities add depth to résumés, but the experience needs to be documented so that the service equates to business expertise. Before you again become fully employed, use any free time to enjoy your new community. Refer to the Advice for Volunteers website for guidance in selecting a volunteer position and monster.com for spouse assistance in the Helpful Websites sidebar.
Successfully Relocating Your Smallest Movers
The majority of relocating families have dependent children. If you are moving with children, you probably researched schools before moving; however, personal school visits will transform the unknown into reality. Visits to new schools to survey the classrooms and meet teachers will go a long way to allay your and your children’s worries about the new environment.
Listen carefully to each child’s concerns—every move can bring new issues to the surface. Encourage your children to maintain contact with former friends, even while trying to make new friends. Exchanging photos, having email access and possibly a cell phone with a camera feature can help bridge the gap between old and new friends during the early weeks in a new location.
Dealing with challenges
Keep in mind that every stage and every age can bring new challenges. Children who sailed through the last move could be in an entirely different place emotionally and physically for this move, so parents cannot assume that a child will ease into the current move. Routinely share accomplishments and challenges with each other and talk about ways to overcome difficulties. Children need to know that even though the parents are responsible for uprooting them, you both have challenges to face, and you need to work together as a family to solve them.
The following signs may indicate that children are struggling with the adjustment: sudden reading difficulties, changes in attention span or study habits, weight loss or gain, altered enthusiasm or energy levels, strained relationships with you or their siblings, or disturbed sleep patterns. Stay closely involved with your children during the early months in a new location so you know how they are feeling, what they are thinking and who their new friends are.
Consider volunteering or get involved with the school so that you can see for yourself how your children are managing. Both adults and children need the stability and comfort of established routines, so keep the same rules, bedtimes, mealtimes, allowances, and expectations that you had before moving. Refer to the “Tips for Settling In” sidebar for more great info to help both you and the kids.
Children and Safety
When children are in an unfamiliar environment, they can easily forget basic safety rules. The following are always a good reminder:
• Keep close to a parent, and take an
adult’s hand in crowded areas.
• Carry personal identification and phone
numbers to contact parents at all times.
• Know where to meet in case families
• Review street crossing safety guidelines.
• Make sure children understand how to
get help safely if they get lost.
Medical and Safety Precautions
It is a fact that moving places additional stress on individuals and consequently, they are more vulnerable to accidents or illness, not to mention unexpected flare-ups of chronic health conditions. If an emergency occurs, every second counts; therefore, as a precaution, locate hospitals, pharmacies and physicians that will meet your family’s needs before an emergency arises.
Learn the procedures, telephone numbers, and access codes for emergency care and always carry medical identification with you. Also, in an emergency, you may forget your new telephone number and/or address, so before an emergency arises, program them into your cell phone and place written notes near each telephone in your home, as well as basic directions to your residence. Directions will not only be useful for family members in the early days at your new home, but they will also assist babysitters and visiting relatives.
Embrace the move
Whether or not you have children, or you are married, single or retired, relocating to a new community can ultimately become a wonderful and enriching experience. The suggestions in this article have worked for many relocating families, and they can also help your family become comfortable in your new home.
As an aside, when people learn that I’ve moved 19 times, the response is often “What place did you like best?” My answer is always the same: “Where my family was.” I wish you all the best!
By Beverly D. Roman