Welcome Home :: Helping Kids Adjust To Life In A New City

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Welcome Home - Helping Kids Adjust To Life In A New City - Columbia SC Moms BlogMoving is challenging. Period. South Carolina is the fifth state I’ve called home. Columbia is the first state I’ve moved to as a mommy! {I love our city.} Here you’ll find my advice for ENJOYING {yes, you read that right} a move with young children. I hope that you or someone in your mom tribe will find it helpful during, what often is, a very stressful process.

Get Out

Instead of relying solely on GPS, introduce your kiddo to a real map of the area creating a fun and useful geography lesson. Consider using public transportation if it’s popular in the area to familiarize yourself with the culture and local hot spots that may interest your family.

Enjoy the landscape. Explore parks and hiking trails. If you’re blessed with local green space, look into the memberships and seasonal activities offered. Encourage kids to have an appreciation for architecture and history. Find historic landmarks {your kiddo may have a school project due on one of them, someday}!

Eat and shop local. I don’t mean at chain stores and restaurants. Experience the city’s flavors, connect with vendors and in the process, support local business which will help strengthen your new community.

FARMERS MARKET

Ask For Help

If you prefer personal recommendations or need help getting settled, residents native to or well-established in the area are probably more than happy to assist you. People usually don’t mind lending a hand or sharing information about their favorite places. {The warm Southern-hospitality in Columbia has made us feel right at home.}

Let neighbors, families at church, and people at the park know YOU ARE NEW HERE! If you have friends or family who are living in the city, plan a get together that your children can look forward to. If not, consider reaching out to people you know, who may have friends and family within close proximity to your new residence. Reaching out on social media is a quick way to connect with a friend of a friend {who JUST MIGHT have kids the same age as yours. Score!}.

Plan An Adventure

At least once a month, plan to pack the car for a day trip. Staycations can be just as much fun as expensive vacations, minus the tedious travel time. Try museums, farmer’s markets and our family’s favorite … park hopping!

A cannot-go-wrong housewarming gift for anyone relocating is a Fodor Travel Book featuring their new digs. These books are broken down into organized, informative sections with great photos. {Our family was gifted one focused on the South and we have used it at least a dozen times, both in Columbia and on a recent trip to Savannah.}

Fodor

Sign Up For Something

Google local volunteer opportunities that will allow you and your child to contribute your talents. A person’s level of comfort in new surroundings is directly correlated with their confidence. Volunteering will encourage kids to share their passions, learn more about something that interests them and potentially begin valuable friendships with like-minded acquaintances.

Getting involved will allow your children to see you enthusiastically sharing your gifts with the community. You’ll make an impact, while spending time with your kiddo. Opportunities range by age from little kids helping in a community garden to older children helping in more advanced roles such as at hospitals or volunteering with animals.

BOY

Pack Well

This was our family’s first move with a kiddo {a toddler, no less!}, so we strategically boxed up his room LAST. We kept things as normal as possible for him until the day the moving truck drove away and even more importantly, we were able to get his new room and playroom organized FIRST at our new home.

Embrace A Teachable Moment

No matter how old your child is, acknowledge this huge change and talk about what is most important – that you are together as a family. Instead of a particular house or location {at least while they are little} make sure that your child knows HOME is where MOM is.

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Here’s to settled kids, busting open the box with the wine glasses and having a chance to put your feet up! What would you add to the list?

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Victoria Tyman and her husband, Jordan, are blessed to have called most of the major regions of this beautiful country, home. For Victoria, being a full-time mom is both a career and hobby, in one. She writes during extended naps to kill time, when the house is clean. Her dogs are rescues that she fell in love with on Petfinder.com. Originally from New England, she enjoys coastal life and exploring outdoors. No matter where her family is living, they root for Boston teams (Go Bruins!) She does less animal welfare work, in the trenches, these days but seizes as many opportunities as possible to strengthen awareness and respect for creatures both great and small. Victoria was a nanny for many years, as well as a Sunday school teacher and loves volunteering as a guide for kids at nature preserves.

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