Even when the reason for it is a wonderful one, moving is very stressful for everyone involved. When you are moving with kids, it will likely be a lot more difficult. One reason is because the move is typically not their idea, leaving them feeling powerless and confused. If you are faced with an upcoming move and are worried about how it will affect your children, read on for six tips that can help.
1. Give Plenty of Notice
No one, even adults, wants a huge change sprung on them at the last minute. As soon as you are sure that you will be moving, sit down and have a conversation with your kids. When you share the process with your children, you can also get their input and feelings about the move. This will help them feel included in the decision, even if it is yours to make. Explain the upcoming timeline as best as you can.
2. Move Prepared
There is no reason to wait until you move to start making connections with your new area. When you know where you are going, look for local school districts, children’s museums and activities, Girl or Boy Scout organizations, and anything else you may be thinking of for your child. Use social media to your advantage by joining local community groups and asking questions. Have your child assist you in the search. Make sure you have a positive attitude about the move when you talk about it. Getting them excited will help!
3. Keep Old Friends
Your children may be worried about the friends they will be leaving behind. Remind them that there are now plenty of ways to stay in touch. Today’s amazing digital age gives us many ways to stay in close contact with others, no matter how far away we may be. If your child is old enough for social media accounts, remind them that they will still be able to talk with friends every single day if they choose. They may also use Skype or Google Hangouts to stay connected face-to-face.
4. Give Them Choices
Your child may feel powerless about the move. After all, you picked the date, the town, and the house. Help them feel like they are part of everything by giving them as many choices as you can. For example, search for new paint colors that will brighten up their new bedroom and make it their own. If you are currently touring possible houses, bring them along. Let them ask their own questions of the realtor if they have any. Keep them as involved as possible.
5. Give Them Time and Understanding
Don’t expect your child to be 100% on board with the move from the very start. They may very well be angry, hurt, upset, and confused. Don’t push their feelings aside by telling them to get over it. Children have the right to be upset about big changes in their life. As their parent, you must be there to help them get through it. Understand that your children may not be as happy about the move as you are.
6. Look for Counseling
Despite your best efforts, you may need to consider counseling for your child. Even though it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, moving as a child can be a huge issue for many kids. They may benefit from some type of counseling even before you are set to go. Don’t worry if you think they are too young – they aren’t. If they are old enough to worry and stress, then they are old enough to benefit from a talk or two with a professional. Make sure to research local therapists in your new area before you move.
Follow the above six steps if you are moving with your children. They deserve your patience and understanding during the move, so take the time to slow down and relax when you need it.