My teen age daughter shared with me that one of the most terrifying statements she ever heard us say was, “Hey kids, we’re moving to Hawaii!!”. At 8 years old, she saw her whole world in her mind being completely torn apart. Was she right to be worried? Of course! Moving to Hawaii is a BIG deal and it’s a whole new culture to try and assimilate into.
Each island has a different experience for kids coming in from the mainland, and it also depends on the neighborhood, the school, and your child’s attitude about the move. My daughter had a hard time making friends at first because she was convinced the whole thing was a mistake and she would be going back to California within a few months. She was wrong and we stayed. My son, on the other hand, moved here when he was five and he has fit in all along and has great friends that he followed from elementary school to high school.
Eric and I created this video to give you more insights into moving kids to Hawaii, and in this video, specifically Hawaii Island. However, when we mention where kids can find community and friends, each island offers outrigger canoe teams for teens, churches for Youth Groups, sports at the local school level or AYSO, surfing and body boarding, and summer/fall camps.
Eric mentions the use of social media in the video for your children to still feel connected to the friends they leave behind. Tiktok, Snapchat and Instagram are even more fun when you are showing life in Hawaii! Right? Don’t worry mom and dad. Now that my kids are older, they see the value of moving somewhere new and the experiences they got that their friends who are still living in the same neighborhoods they were born in never had the privilege to have. Will there be bumps in the road to bringing a 14 year old into an already established friend group in Hawaii? Yes, but I have seen new kids come into my children’s sphere and with the right amount of enthusiasm, curiosity and sense of Aloha, make great friends-it helps if they are open to learning how to surf or body board!
As we mention throughout the site, we have contacts on all the islands and can help you connect with folks who can then provide helpful resources for children to get off on the right foot when they move here.