How Can I Help My Son Adjust to a New City?


It is one of those mornings. Sam woke up early and now he is in my bed, snuggled as close as possible, twirling my hair around his fingers. His breath is warm on my cheek and his long limbs are wrapped around me. “I don’t want to go to school, Mama. I don’t like my new school. Nobody loves me there. And the toys are boring,” he says.

I turn to him and hold him close, trying to find the right words to comfort him. It is not easy.

My little guy is having a hard time. To be honest, we are all having a hard time, but Sam is the one who is new to this world of changes and challenges. We just moved to a new city and he started attending a new preschool. We are away from family, from the familiar, from the routine.

At first, everything was exciting: the new school, the new classmates, the new teachers. There were new toys to explore, new books to read, new songs to learn. As we worked on establishing a new life, it was fun to explore things together. Just going to the grocery store was an adventure.

But now it seems the honeymoon is over and Sam is more and more aware of what he is missing from our old life. He talks about the friends he left behind, his favorite children’s museum and playground, our old house where he was born. We visit often because his grandparents still live there, but sometimes I am not sure if returning “home” as he refers to it is helpful or if it’s just making the adjustment even harder.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Barb Dignan (@barbdignan) says:

    In the words of Bill Clinton: I feel your pain. Not as a mother (my sons only had to move once in their growing-up years), but as the child of military parents. I moved nine times by the time I was ten.( I attended three different schools in Japan in third grade alone.) I attended three high schools (Germany, Kansas, Georgia). Depression became a part of my DNA. But what I learned about enduring, loss, grasping the moment, diversity, and the bigger world around me was invaluable. I became a global citizen. Someone told me early in my life that it would take a full year to adapt to my new surroundings, new school, new friends. They were right. Usually, after that trial run, I began to like where I was. There would be a honeymoon of a year or two–then another dreaded move. By the time I had children, I had moved another three times. Your son will be the richer for having left the comforts of one nest and tried out his wings in another. He will be an interesting person to know; he will empathize with people from new places. And perhaps, most importantly, he will carry a confidence that only comes when you’ve left your comfort zone and conquered a new world. That is priceless. And, by the way, the extra hugs, the chocolate in the lunchbox…so perfect.

    1. zsmc says:

      Thanks, Barb! I hope you are right! 🙂

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