My Daughters Best Friend Is Moving Away..

Updated on August 08, 2014
L.O. asks from Sterling Heights, MI
7 answers

My daughter has had another girl in her class for kinder first and second grade.. they are best buddies.. the other girls dad is in medical school.. and his time here is ending after this next school year. They will move away at the end of June 15 to their next duty station. My daughter is so sad about this.. she is grumpy and fighing with her brother more than usual...

tonight she was arguing with her brother.. then burst into tears.. and cried.. she didn't want "jame" to move away.. that it was her best friend.. and she wouldn't have any friends.. I was comforting and compassionate.. but the girl is not moving for 10 months.. I hope my daughter is not crying about this for 10 months...

any ideas how to help make this easier..

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answers from Washington DC on

I have been the kid that moved. I would do a few things. I would remind her that June of 2015 is far away. She can have many adventures with her friend in the meantime. They have a whole school year! And even if there is no bon voyage party for the family, I would arrange a special event or sleepover or something so the girls can have a hurrah. Where are they moving to? Would it help your DD to learn about where her friend will be, to be reminded about Skype and texting and emails and letters. Who doesn't like mail? Something my friend did recently was have a going away party and had the kids give out their new info in the goodie bags and receive info on scrapbooking pages done by each friend. Understand her fears and concerns, and try to get her to look at the positives vs worrying away the next year. I also agree not to dwell on the move. It's a thing, but it should not be at the forefront of every day.

When my DD was worried about her friend moving (though not her best friend), I said, "Do you remember my friend Ms. T? And how she moved to Iowa? Do you think we stopped being friends because she moved? Not at all! You can have friends all over the place." And then we talked about friends and family all across the world. It seemed to make her feel better.

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answers from Portland on

I would be briefly sympathetic before changing the subject or getting her started in a new activity. Don't try to talk her out of how she feels. Don't remind her it's 10 months away. Validate her feelings and move on.

I finally learned to do this with my grandson. He's on the spectrum and has strong feelings about things months, even years ago. We would tell him to let go of the past. This seemed to intensify his feelings. I started asking about the way he felt and telling him I'd be sad/angry too. I sat and listened for awhile. Because he's autistic I'm rarely able to quickly divert his attention. I suggest with a non-autistic child this could take a few minutes.

Why would parents tell a young child they're moving in 10 months? That's crazy.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

This is a great opportunity to help her learn how to challenge negative thought patterns. I would validate her feelings of anger and sadness. She needs time and space to have her natural reaction. Along with letting her feel what she feels I would also give her tools to help comfort herself. I would say, " This is so hard to have a friend move. How can we make it easier? What are some things you can tell yourself to feel better? How about I am so blessed to have this friend, or I am going to enjoy the time we have rather than stay too focused on the sad, or even if she moves we still can be close. " I wish you the best as you help your daughter through this. I know it is so hard to see our littles ones hurting!

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answers from Washington DC on

I grew up as a military brat and never lived in any home longer than the one I live in now, which was 6 years in April and I am 31.

It happens. Military or not, people move all the time. Be sympathetic for a minute, comfort her, but then encoruage her to go out and do the things she does and have fun.

My kids get sad because while their dad is retired military, he got out when our daughter was 1, so they never moved because of him and have always lived in the same area - so same friends. But they make new friends each year at school and sports.

So let them have fun this year, do not focus on or talk about her leaving, and they will enjoy this tiem together. I can also tell you that because of Facebook, I actually just got to spend time with a girl I lived near 19 years ago in Bermuda. It was amazing! It's easy to keep in touch now and reconnect. I'm not sure how old your daughter is, but my daughter is 11 and has an instagram, she keeps in touch with a lot of people that way. She also hears updates from me from friends parents on FB...and they can Skype now too!

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answers from Washington DC on

Wow - 10 months is a long time to have to draw out the dread of moving.
As a former military family & people who just generally like to wander, our kiddos have had to leave dear friends also. I would just remind your daughter that the move won't happen for a long time & that she should be enjoying the time she does have with her friend. I wouldn't make any big deal about "the last Christmas together," or "the last Halloween party, " or the last anything really. Just let them enjoy their friendship & have fun together.
On a side note: keeping in touch with friends is easier now than ever. My oldest still sends postcards & letters to his best friend from our previous state & they Skype occasionally. It's been great to see the friendship continue even across the miles & time (it's been over a year now). Sure, it's different now & they obviously don't see each other but you should hear them when they skype. It's like show & tell on steroids!
Hope your daughter is able to enjoy her time with her friend and not get too upset about what will eventually happen.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

This is a hard one, but you have to let her feel what she needs to feel. Just support her the best you can.


answers from Washington DC on

aw, this is so hard. heck, after my best friend moved away when i was 38 i cried for months!
i wouldn't jump through hoops to try and prevent mourning. she's going to be sad. it's natural and right, although hard for us to watch. you can't prophylactically prevent grief, but you can be calm and sensible as she rides the waves. i'd allow her to process it on her own timeline, being available and sympathetic but not overly gloopy. you can be understanding without allowing her too much wallowing. have them plan to write, email, skype, whatever works for both families, and also have a few distractions in mind. after the move might be just the right time to start horseback riding lessons, KWIM?

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