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While similar to this question, I would like to know how to help ease my 6 year old into a move out of state. We are going to be moving in the next couple of months, about 500 miles away.

We brought her with us to look at some houses the first time around. She was a trooper (6 houses and about 3 hours) and loved the ones that had "stuff" still in the bedrooms, claiming her room in each house :)

We all paid a visit to the school she would be attending as well. She did very well there also. Had a great time with the soon-to-be first grade teacher and interacted well with other students.

I'm mostly concerned with her leaving her friends here before we go. Her birthday falls about 3 weeks before we plan to move. That will basically be her going away party as well. The next door neighboor who has a little girl that is one year older that we're going to be leaving as well.

The area we are looking to move to is also pretty secluded (mountain town, lots of hills and trees). Our closest neighbor will be within walking distance, but not in plain sight.

Is there anything we can do to help ease the process? What steps can I take to help her make new friends once we move?

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    Perhaps the title should be "prepare for a long-distance move"? I think it's definitely a good question, and separate from the other, and the added qualifier may help people to find this question. – user11394 May 7 '15 at 20:00
  • Good point. That helps distinguish it from other questions – Brian Robbins May 7 '15 at 20:07
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    Exchange contact information with her friends' parents. This way when she get lonely and miss her friend at least she will be able to speak to them. As time will pass she will make new friends and she will move on from her old friendship. – Rémi May 7 '15 at 20:49
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What steps can I take to help her make new friends once we move?

Try to register her at a sports club and/or music school (something like that).
This helps deflecting the old friends (as a 6 year) and then she should find new friends (mostly) at her age, very soon...

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Taking the long view, I think the key is to get mementos. Photographs (group and individual), perhaps even a video. The teacher can provide a large piece of paper and let each student in her class write/draw something -- even if it's just the child's name. This can go on the wall in her new room.

A year, two, or three from now, you want her to be able to look back on those first six years and still feel connected.

I think you probably weren't asking for the long view -- but my perspective is that of looking back on my first child's big move when he was just turning five.


What steps can I take to help her make new friends once we move?

If there is a student directory from last year, with names and phone numbers, it would be great if you could get a copy. Also, could you ask the classroom teacher to take a group photograph and then write all the first names, in order? That will help in two ways -- first, it will help your daughter learn who's who quicker; and second, it will make it easier for you to have conversations with her about her classmates.

If you have time, it would also be good to volunteer in the school. That will help you figure out one or two children to invite for a play date.

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