One of the most heart-wrenching things as a parent is to watch the struggle when your child’s friend moves away. It’s hard on anyone to see a friend move away, but children aren’t always readily equipped to handle it. So it is important to know how to help if and when it happens to your child.
How To Help When Your Child’s Friend Moves Away
To a child, a best friend moving away might feel like the entire world is coming to an end! Whether the friend is moving just across town or to the other side of the world, it is still an adjustment for your child to go through. Here are some tips to help you help your child adjust.
- Show your child understanding by not negating their feelings. Don’t tell him to just “get over it.” Allow your child to own his very real feelings about the situation.
- Be open to hearing about your child’s feelings. Take any opportunity that presents itself to invite your child to talk to you, but don’t force her if she isn’t ready to talk about it.
- Give your child a plan to stay in touch with his best friend. Things to suggest include a weekly phone call, a handwritten letter, or time to text back-and-forth each week. Video calls may be a viable solution as well.
- Help your child form closer bonds with other friends nearby by allowing her to invite them over for some fun.
- Talk to your child about that lonely feeling, but ask him if he has noticed any other kids at school who are also lonely. Is there anyone who sits alone at lunch? This is a good time to encourage your child to reach out to other kids who are struggling. Your child learns empathy and how to care for others by practicing this.
- Take the opportunity while your child is mourning her friend to help forge stronger bonds with her siblings. Siblings can be a positive force when your child is sad.
All of these tips help you send your child a message that when hard things happen, it’s okay to feel sad for awhile. With your help, your child learns that she can get through it.