If you’ve recently moved your family from the city to a more rural location, your kids are apt to suffer from culture shock. While there is a lot to love about living in the country, it’s still going to take some getting used to for your kids. The following tips can help you make the adjustment period more pleasant for your kids so that they can make a positive transition to their new life and location.
Embrace the Internet
Although many parents are trying to curtail their kids’ time online in favor of homework and outdoor play, parents who move to rural settings should try to build in some online time for the kids. Hopefully, you’ve moved to a country setting that at least has internet (otherwise, you’re in a bit of hot water). Kids who once loved to explore and hang out at the mall can get their shop fix by spending some time shopping for their cool hats and t-shirts via the internet. Before purchasing your new home in the country, be sure to ask Watson Bull & Porter Agency about the setting’s internet access.
Parents should try to encourage their kids to become involved in their new school. The school may organize special study trips or promote clubs and activities that can prevent your kids from feeling bored with country living. Schools in rural settings offer sports clubs, academic clubs, and plenty of social activities where kids can learn and enjoy each other’s company at the same time.
You might have been able to put off getting pets when you lived in the city, but it’s time to agree to a new dog or cat when you move to the country. Talk to your kids about the types of pets they’d like to take responsibility for. You might find yourself with a hutch-full of bunnies or possibly even a pony, but most kids adore animals–and these critters are sure to be a positive aspect of moving to the country.
Plan Trips to the City
Your kids might truly find themselves pining for the city. If this is the case, try to plan periodic trips back to the city to enjoy special events there like concerts, sporting events, or museum visits. You might even invite one of their city friends along so they can reconnect with the friends they had before they moved to the country.
Get in Touch with Nature
Moving to the country can be a learning process for everyone. Try to include your children in this learning process. Have the kids help you plant a large garden, for example. They can plant, weed, and water the garden as positive chores, but they can also benefit from the learning experience. Country living naturally fosters self reliance, which can be meaningful for anyone.
Explore the Area
When you move to your rural setting, be sure to take time exploring its woodlands, mountainous areas, or coastal region. Help your kids to get to know the territory so that it will seem less foreign to them. As you explore, you may come across things you’d like to do or places you’d like to visit again. Keep a list of these ideas; you might be able to work them into your weekend schedules.
Discover Solitary Hobbies
If your kids miss having lots of friends to hang out with as they did in the city, help them discover new hobbies that they enjoy doing on their own. Learning to be comfortable with solitary pursuits is another great learning paradigm. From model train set building to baking to other types of crafting, your kids can enrich their lives when they embrace a new pastime.
With all the gizmos and devices kids have today, reading often gets pushed to the fringes of their lives. Living in the country might actually foster a slower-paced life that is healthier for kids, that actually supports their educational development. Encourage your kids choose a cosy spot on your property where they can read. If they miss the city, books can give them a view of the world that might just fill the void for a while.
Moving is never a completely easy transition, but moving from one type of setting to one that’s completely different can be jarring for anyone–especially children. These tips will help you soften the adjustment period for your children. In fact, you might even enjoy following some of these tips yourself!
John Blackburn works in education and has moved around the country with his family to follow his career. He likes to share his experiences with an online audience and writes regularly for a number of lifestyle and educational websites.