Making new friends after a move can be challenging for kids and grown-ups alike. Despite that, getting plugged into a local community can be one of the most powerful ways to make your new neighborhood feel like home. To make the transition easier, here are a few suggestions on how the whole family can start building new connections.
Find Places to Volunteer
Giving back to those in need feels great, and it gives you a chance to meet other kind-hearted people in your area. Volunteering is also a great way for introverts to break out of their shell. There’s automatically something in common to talk about, so you get to dodge the awkward, just-met small talk.
Another huge benefit of volunteering is the opportunity to meet people from various backgrounds. Most social events tend to attract a certain type of person, but people from all walks of life like to volunteer.
Sign Up for Activity Classes
Picking up a new hobby can help children who are struggling to acclimate. By providing them with something else to focus on, they’ll begin to branch out and feel a greater sense of purpose in the new neighborhood.
Adults can also learn new skills and meet people in all sorts of classes; whether it’s coding classes to help you land a new job or yoga on Saturdays, there are plenty of ways to meet all sorts of interesting people and learn something new along the way.
Attend Neighborhood Events
Block parties and garage sales are two great places to meet the neighbors and form new friendships. These events tend to be popular in growing neighborhoods with single-family homes for sale. When you’re looking at homes to move into, you might also want to check out neighborhood activities and events.
You may not walk away from the first encounter with your neighbors as BFFs, but it helps to get out of the house and introduce yourself to the people who live around you. Remember not to force conversation. Just smile, be friendly and the right people will naturally gravitate to you.
The playground can also be a great place for kids to meet local children, and parents always tend to strike up a conversation while they’re standing on the sidelines.
Join a Church
If you practice a religion, church communities are some of the most accessible and welcoming to new members. You can also find great resources through the church that can help you out. Most congregations also hold a variety of social events for members of all ages, so it’s a great place to continue your spiritual journey while meeting new people.
Don’t forget to be patient with yourself. It takes time to get to know people. Focus on getting comfortable in your new home and exploring the area. As you begin to branch out, it will become easier to make new connections that turn into rewarding friendships.