Moving can be a stressful time for anyone, but for children, it can be even more difficult. They are leaving their home, school, and friends behind, and are forced to adapt to a new city or state.
If you have children who are apprehensive about the move, there are things you can do to help them through it. These tips will help your child adjust to their new home and make it a more positive experience for them.
What are your Worries about Moving?
No matter how apprehensive your children are when making the big change of moving, it also presents a great opportunity to address the situation with open-ended questions, empathy, and validation and it can help your child feel more comfortable and confident about the move. It’s important to listen to your child’s concerns and work together to find ways to address their problems and worries in a positive and constructive way. When you are planning a long-distance move that needs movers, it can be a big change in your children’s lives, so don’t dismiss their feelings or make it feel like their feelings don’t matter even though you will be moving no matter what.
It can be a huge shock to anybody’s system no matter what age or what stage you are in life. Tell them it’s normal to be worried about the unknown. But only when you ask the question, would you have the opportunity to find out their concerns and how you can better address them. They might be unsure about what will happen with schooling, how to adapt to the change, or what their new friends will be like.
It is important to acknowledge your children’s worries about moving, and try to work through them. Talking calmly will help you stay in control and it can help them process their thoughts and feelings about the move.
What do you think will be the Hardest Part?
Asking your child what they think will be the hardest part of the move is an essential question when they are feeling apprehensive. By doing so, you are allowing them to voice the most feared concern. By listening to their fear or concern and by remaining empathetic and positive, you can help them feel more comfortable and confident about the move simply by making the hardest thing feel easy.
If they say it is leaving behind old friends and starting over and making new friends. You can quite easily turn it into a positive by saying “Making new friends is the easy part, remember when we moved into this neighborhood, we didn’t know many people, but now we know Grace and Michael who always comes by to ask you to ride your bike with them, then there’s Lara who lives 2 streets across the road who you made friends with by helping her find her dog that ran away. Then there’s Missus Eve’s who bakes us cakes once a week because Dad helps her cut her front lawn.
You see by working together as a family and helping each other out, you will begin to find out that we can make friends easily.
While it is great to address their thoughts on the hardest part. It is also an opportunity to reassure them that the move is necessary and will be a good thing for the entire family.
It also helps to give you a chance to make them feel a part of the move. Giving them greater control over their own decisions about the move, such as choosing their own bedroom, what they want to do with their playroom, etc. This will help them feel more in control and will ease their fears and worries about the move.
What are you Excited about?
This question will allow them to see a totally new perspective on the move. Rather than the much-dreaded move, they can begin to see the positives about the move. You can reassure them, make them feel safe and confident, get them excited about the new life, and spark their curiosity so they would be wanting to move.
You can help your child get excited about the move by focusing on what they are going to find in their new home or city. Show them that they will have new friends, fresh shops and restaurants to try out, new parks and playgrounds, interesting clubs at school — and much more.
Kids are very sensitive to change, and you can be a great support for them by talking to them about the change and sharing your emotions. If kids see that you are excited, that excitement will feed into theirs.
What We can do to make it Easier?
By asking this question, you will begin to formulate a game plan that your children are agreeing to. They can begin to formulate and make their own decisions on solving their own concerns.
Whether it’s a move across town or across the country, youngsters are forced to leave behind their familiar surroundings and routine. They also may have a hard time making new friends or adjusting to a different school. All these things can be addressed as a family and strategies can be put in place to help them feel more at ease. It may be taking the time to say goodbye to close friends and family that would help make the move easier. It may be hosting a big farewell party gathering with all their close friends. It may be going for that family ride just one more time on the trail that they’ve been riding since they moved into the neighborhood.
To make the move easier for kids, parents should give them plenty of time to process the big news and walk them through every stage of the process even when they are looking for local removalists, making them feel a part of the decision-making process. Older elementary-school students and teenagers should be told about the plan well in advance so they can have enough time to absorb the change and prepare for it.
How we should stay in touch with friends?
Leaving friends behind after moving can be difficult. It’s normal for some friendships to grow apart, especially when big life changes occur. This question poses, the intention of remaining close to friends and family even after the move. By asking your children this question it will help them feel more at ease when they know they are not saying goodbye forever to their current life.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay in touch with friends during your relocation, and especially with modern-day technology, there is no excuse to be disconnected. These include phone calls, email, texting, and social media.
You’ll be surprised what they come up with for this and some children may even suggest planning a visit together or sleepovers before they leave. Whether it’s a weekend away, or a week-long vacation in the same place they’re going to, having a little bit of time set aside to get together before they move will help them feel more at ease.
Be sure to remind your children that they can also keep in touch with family and friends through phone and video chats or through good old fashion snail mail. Either way, staying connected will help keep friends and family in their thoughts during this stressful period and reassure them that they will always still be there.
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