Most everyone has experienced being the new person in a community, school or other environment. Every family needs a support system and when you’re new in town, time is of the essence. Once your family has settled on the neighborhood you will live in, your next step is to get out there and meet people in the community.
While it can be daunting at first, these eight tips will help you find new friends fast:
1. Check and see if your neighborhood has a community association. You may not have to look much farther than your own neighborhood to find new friends. Many neighborhood associations hold events that you can attend to meet your neighbors. Who knows, your famous potluck salad at the neighborhood barbeque might win you your next best friend.
2. Look into local moms groups. Most communities are overflowing with dozens of official and unofficial playgroups for kids. Look online or call your pedia-trician for recommendations. These groups usually connect mothers of similarly-aged children. Your kids may find future classmates through these groups.
3. Talk to the schools that your children will be attending to see if there are any community groups that your child can get involved in. They will meet new friends and you can get to know other moms and dads in the process. Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, sports teams and other like activities will help your family find similarly-minded groups.
4. While you are inquiring at the school, ask about the PTA/Parents’ Organization at the school. Usually the head of these organizations can help you get in touch with other parents and help you find activities that you and your family can participate in.
5. Look into local houses of worship. Faith and friendship go hand in hand. Find a local house of worship and ask the pastor, priest or rabbi for recommendations on committees you can join, families you should meet or other organizations that will connect you with your soon-to-be friends.
6. Join! Join the pool, join the community centre, go to where the people in your community congregate. Once you have joined, volunteer to get yourself out there. It may take some elbow grease to connect you with future friends.
7. Identify the super-connectors. It always seems like a handful of people in every community seem to know everyone. Befriend these people. They will connect you with others and always seem to be willing to help out others.
8. Find your tribe. Do the things you love and the people you are meant to connect with will follow. Whether quilting, writing or soccer is your thing, there is likely a group of people nearby who love what you love and would love for you to join them.
Making friends and connections in the neighborhood and surrounding community helps parents find support in a place that may feel far from home. Get out there today and meet some people. You never know where you might find those lifelong family friends.
Beth writes from Rockville where she and her husband are raising their four children.
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