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Tips for Parents Adjusting to a New Community

Kids aren't the only ones who have trouble adapting to a brand-new town. Moms and dads need a little help, too. Here are five ideas to get you started

After moving to a new neighborhood, most parents spend the majority of their first weeks getting the children settled in and familiarized with their new school. When the kids are hopefully getting along great in their new environment, now it's your turn to adjust. It can be just as anxiety provoking! But there are ways to get acclimated to your new area. Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Get newcomer information

Every city has a website with tons of general information on your new neighborhood – as well as events and news about the city. Search the site and, if you would like more literature on the city, head to the local chamber of commerce or mayor's office. The local government is always happy to help new members of the community.

2. Introduce yourself to the neighbors

The days of people knocking on your door to welcome you to the neighborhood with a basket full of muffins and other goodies are largely gone. Most people are too busy in their own lives, so it's up to you to make the effort. Say hi to your neighbor and spark up a conversation. Asking about the area and fun places to go is a relatively painless starter. And it's a simple way to make new friends.

3. Join a neighborhood book club or social group

This is a great way to have some adult conversation and get to know your neighbors outside of their daily routine of work, kids and housework. It also gives you a chance to unwind with your peers, take part in an activity or pick up a new hobby.

4. Attend local festivals and fairs

Fairs and festivals attract thousands of people each year, so there's no better place to get in touch with members of the community. Take the kids and some of their new friends to an annual festival and talk to folks at the vendor areas – or other parents. If you're typically introverted, now's the time to come out of your shell, because there are so many people to meet. This also allows you to check out local businesses, if they have vendor stands set up, and to meet people from surrounding communities, too.

5. Explore the community

Get lost in your new neighborhood. Once the kids are off to school, get in the car and start exploring. Be a tourist and check out the local eateries, shops and parks. Find your way around, so you feel more comfortable in your new environment.

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