|When Your Family Moves: If It's Your Friend
What if you're not the one who's moving, but the friend who's getting left behind?
Most of the ideas in Saying Goodbye apply to you, too, but here's how to deal with your feelings and be a good friend when your BFF is about to move.
- Talk it over. Sometimes, to avoid being hurt, we keep our true feelings inside and try to act cool. If you're upset about a friend leaving, it's important to tell him or her, especially if you want to remain close. Discuss ways that you can keep in touch when you're apart. Pretending it's no big deal may be something you regret once your friend is gone.
- Use your time wisely. If you've only got a certain amount of time to spend with your friend before the move, try not to spoil it by getting into little fights or arguments. Emotions may be running high, but hopefully you can get past all that. You may want to make plans to see each other more regularly or set aside a certain time every week to have one-on-one time.
- Do something special. Arrange an event for you and your friend, or with your whole group of pals. It could be a sleepover, pizza party, or out to a movie, fair, or sporting event. Just try to think of some special way to show your friend you appreciate everything you've shared.
- Something to remember you by. Try making a video together, or a book that features the highlights of the time you've spent as friends. You could also do a comic, draw a picture, or make a photo montage that has something to do with your friendship. When your BFF is at his or her new home, a keepsake like this will help keep the bond of friendship strong.
- Make a going-away kit. Make your friend a package to take along to his or her new house. You could include pre-stamped envelopes with stationery or pre-stamped postcards so it will be easy for your friend to write to you. Other things to throw in might be a food item that you can only get in your area, a stuffed animal to give hugs in your place, or a t-shirt that all your friends have signed on the back.
- Keep in touch! Make a mutual commitment to use IM's, e-mail, phone calls, and letters to stay in touch once your friend has moved. Sometimes it helps to make a joint promise like, "We will not let more than two weeks go by without one of us e-mailing the other." If it's physically and economically possible, talk to your families about arranging a future visit.
Here are some words of wisdom from IML'ers:
- "If your friend is moving away, the first thing you want to do is get their address, phone number and anything else you'll need to contact them with. Spend as much time with them as possible before they leave, but give them some space as well. They'll need some alone time, it's hard on them too!"
- "Keep in touch, and don't let a small thing like moving separate you."
- "Find some kind of way to keep in contact (even snail mail works). Keep a diary and write daily, and suggest the same to your friend. Maybe you can send them to each other, every few months (and the forget to take pics)."
- "Keep in touch, and you just might be friends for life. My mom has friends from grade school that she still talks to!"
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