Friendships are a central part of a child’s life. Saying goodbye to cherished friends is hard, and so is the idea of starting over and building new friendships. You can help boost children’s confidence and let them know they’ve got this!
Remind children, if it’s appropriate: “Hey, you’ve done this before! Remember how well you handled it?” If it’s the first move, talk about his special strengths that are so important to friendships (“You’re a good sharer,” “You’re really funny,” “You’re kind and generous.”)
It can help children to see their parents reaching out to make new friends—after all, everyone’s in the same situation! Together, you can brainstorm good ways to begin conversations, such as introducing yourself, or explaining you just moved here and you’re wondering where you might go to find a particular thing. Talk about good places to look for new friends—at a playground, library, or gymnastics class, for example.
Encourage children to keep in touch with old friends, too, through phone, text, video chat, email, or letters. Make time for it, and offer help if needed. It helps when children see their parents doing the same thing!