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Saying Goodbye to family and Friends

say_goodbay__family_friendsRelocation causes rupture to your long-term associations, friends, relatives, neighbors, and loved ones. All the social bonds that took you a lifetime to build get splintered. It means saying goodbye to what has been a part of your life for a long time. This results in emotional distress and a sense of disruption. You will remove yourself from the place and surroundings where you feel at home, and from people whom you have always known and depended upon. It saps you physically and emotionally.

Saying goodbye is never easy for anyone, but it is the most rough on children. It can be a traumatic experience for them, if they are not handled properly. Leaving their friends, neighbors and relatives, who have always been there for them, is a great emotional strain on them. Sometimes, they may even have to leave behind much-loved pets, which can cause great anguish. They are often confused about their own emotions and are in need of support, to be able to cope and overcome the upheaval they find themselves under.

As parents, you need great patience and tact to deal with your children's need for support, and to help them remain emotionally balanced. Even though you are yourself undergoing the trauma of leaving, you need to take control of yourself to be able to take care that the children are not negatively affected. Tell them that it is natural to feel bad and upset. And, that you too share the same emotions. You could tell them that goodbyes are a part of life, and that the agitation and anxiety they feel will not last forever. You could also explain that a new place will bring new friends, and that meeting new people will help them learn about different communities. Conveying that you understand their feelings will fill them with reassurance. After all, which child does not like the idea of making new friends and exploring new places!

It is essential for children to stay in touch with their old friends and acquaintances to help lessen the distressing effects of parting. They could do this by writing letters, emailing and the phone.

A useful way of easing the pain of parting is to throw a farewell party for their friends. Organize it so that instead of it being a melancholic affair, is filled with fun and gaiety. Preserve these happy parting memories in photographs and videos. In addition, you could make packing into a family affair with the children enthusiastically involved. This will keep them eagerly occupied and get them used to the idea of moving. Keep their day-to-day routines as normal as possible. Familiar routine is always a source of great reassurance for children.

The biggest fear children have about relocating, is attending a new school. Find out as much as you can about the new school they will be going to, and tell the children about it. If possible, allow the children to visit the school. If the school has a web page online, sit with your children and make a virtual visit. School web pages are usually interactive, and full of the activities that happen there. They could begin getting acquainted with the teachers and children in their new school.

Collect all the information available about the town or city of your new home, and let the children learn about it. Allow them to discover parks, playgrounds and other places of interest. Finding out how many children live in nearby houses will tell your children about possible new friends they can make.

If the new town you are moving to is not very far away, it would be fun to make a family trip there and explore it. Visit the new church and introduce yourself and your family to the priest, letting him know that you would be soon joining the parish.

Teenagers in the family need emotional support too. They have their own challenges about saying goodbye to familiar things. Their fears stem from losing friends as well as the social hubs, sports and performing art activities that they are involved in. They feel upset about being uprooted from the way of life they are used to and enjoy. They resent being disassociated with their familiar surroundings. It is important for you to deal with them in a more mature manner to help them make the transition. Help them realize that you understand and empathize with their sense of loss and sadness. Make them understand that all of you are in it together, and it is eventually going to be all right for everyone. Even if they seem incensed and rebellious, try to be calm and understanding.

This will help saying goodbye much easier for the children as well as for others in the family, and lessen the emotional stress associated with relocating.


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