Ten Ways to Cope When Homeschool Friends Move AwayAndrea Thorpe
The summer is prime time to move whether it’s across town or to another state. Even though we homeschoolers have more flexibility with our schedules, it makes sense to sell a home, pack up belongings, and relocate to a different area before the new school year begins in the fall.
If you find yourself in the rearview mirror as a beloved homeschool friend’s moving van pulls away, you’ll likely feel quite sad. In addition, you may wonder how you’ll deal with this change as you start a new homeschool year without this close buddy. Here are ten suggestions to help you and the rest of your family cope with a friend’s move.
- Don’t forget that change is part of life. If everything stayed the same, we’d never experience the joy and refreshment new situations can bring. Sometimes change appears frightening, but it often opens the door to new and exciting opportunities we may enjoy. Look for the positive effects of change.
- Don’t underestimate the beauty and power of prayer. Yes, a dear friend has relocated, but God is always near. Draw closer to Him by praying about your feelings. Be honest with Him and explain exactly how you feel. Then, take comfort in knowing God is there to help you during these difficult days of transition.
- Don’t be afraid of your emotions. When a friend moves away, you may feel sad, angry, anxious, and even jealous. Acknowledge those feelings and try to work through them. Talk about them with someone you trust or find a counselor who is skilled in helping those experiencing life changes.
- Don’t go into hiding. Take time to deal with your feelings privately, but don’t go into isolation. Doing so often amplifies feelings of loneliness. Continue to build relationships with others and remember to accept support from the family members and additional friends who love you.
- Don’t assume the friendship is over. Distance doesn’t have to mark the end of a friendship. The move means the friendship will take on a new dimension, but doesn’t mean the friendship has to wither and die. Before the move occurs, talk to your friend about realistic ways you can keep in touch with one another.
- Don’t ignore technology. Texting and emailing are good, but options such as Face Time and Skype are great! These techie tools allow friends to see one another across the miles. Set up a regular visiting schedule, so you can still see your friend online.
- Don’t discount the joy of snail mail. Though tech connections are great, traditional mail is still a great way to help friends maintain a long distance friendship. Drop care packages in the mail to let faraway friends know they’re loved.
- Don’t try to replace your friend. Resist the urge to find a replacement for your friend. Recognize the relationship you shared with her was a unique one and cannot be replicated by another.
- Don’t forsake opportunities to make new friends. You’ll never find another just like your friend, but at some point, you may wish to make additional friends. Be open to getting to other people at venues such as homeschool functions, library outings, and church gatherings. Those pleasant conversations and frequent meet-ups just may mark the beginning of a great new friendship.
- Don’t compare others to the friend who moved. As you meet new people and make new friends, don’t compare them to the friend who moved. They’ll never be able to compare to the friend who moved. Trying to do so will often lead to disappointment.
No one likes it when a close friend moves away! When it happens, you may encounter a wide range of emotions and face adjustment issues. Your children may face these same pains too when a friend moves. Though you may not be able to prevent the move, you can take steps to help yourself and your children cope with the move. Go slowly, give yourself some grace, and take time to adjust to the change!