Friday, August 12, 2011

Tips for Moving On

We could all learn from Tina Tow of Arizona when it comes to getting ourselves and our kids connected in a new community...

My best advice after 14 moves...

I remember looking around at the first school program of the year; people were hugging, saying hello, just generally being friendly... while I sat there thinking, "I don't know a single person in this auditorium filled with several hundred parents." I decided that by the next school program, I was not going to feel like the lone ranger. So, I found out what the next big event was at the school and I volunteered to help in a big way, taking on the job that no one else wanted and gave it my best college try. My assignments grew and grew until... it was time to move again. But when I did, I cried and the many friends that I had made along the way cried too.

• If your child is having trouble connecting, know that other newbie's are struggling too.

• It's so important that a new student have a connection with someone on the first day of school. Start a program at the new school for "new" kids.

• I started a Sunday 'meet and greet' at the school two weeks prior to the first school day. It was like an open house on steroids with every new kid in the school attending, along with their parents. We had school ambassadors, a few teachers, the principal, along with several "old" parents to answer specific questions.

• I started a family picnic tradition at one. Its purpose was to introduce new families to returning families.

• Once I invited just my son's class and a few parents to a local kid hot spot right before school started so the new kids and their parents would have the opportunity to meet other kids in the class.

• These programs are still ongoing although we are long gone from the area. I started these programs for two reasons: my son needed to meet people and so did I.

• My best advice after 14 moves; smile, say hello, and stick out your hand to embrace the people around you. You will feel at home when you make others feel at home with you.

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