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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Moving to a new neighborhood is an exciting, yet sometimes difficult, time for children. Parents can help alleviate their child’s stress by providing him with strategies for adjusting to a new neighborhood. With a little help, your child will feel comfortable and have neighborhood friends to play with after moving in to his new home.

Take a Walk
A new neighborhood is sometimes intimidating to a young child. Help him adjust by taking frequent walks. Point out landmarks and teach him how to get home if he goes out by himself.

Spend Time Outside
Water the plants, rake leaves or simply sit on your front porch. Spending time outside will give your child a chance to learn about the people that live in his neighborhood. He will probably see that there are kids his age that live there, but even if he doesn’t, the familiarity he gains from his observations will help him become comfortable with his new home.

Lemonade Stand
Residents at Houston Medical Center apartments  suggest helping your kids set up a lemonade stand. Instead of selling the lemonade, suggest they give it away. Explain that giving it away instead of selling it is a gesture of goodwill and friendship that will help them meet new people and make new friends.

Practice Introductions
Most parents assume their kids know how to introduce themselves, but some kids need extra practice. Review how to say hello and start a conversation with a new person. Then let your kids practice with you so that they’re ready when they meet a new neighborhood friend.

Safety Concerns
Parents want their children to feel comfortable in their new neighborhood and more than likely your neighbors are perfectly nice. However, make sure your child knows how to stay safe when you’re not around. Remind him never to go inside a stranger’s house without you. If he is invited inside to play with a new friend, tell him to say that he’s not allowed to go inside without his parents’ permission, but he would love to play outside. This way he is staying safe while remaining friendly.

While moving to a new neighborhood is sometimes scary for children, it is also a great opportunity for them to make new friends and build long-lasting friendships. With your guidance and support, moving to a new neighborhood is sure to be a great experience for your child.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents wanting kids to adjust to change.