Whether your new destination is near or far from your current residence, if you’re moving with children, the change can be a huge adjustment. “Kids are amazing and can handle anything you tell them ahead of time,” says The Educational Tourist. The key is to prepare your children and to keep them in the loop to ensure smooth sailing. Breaking the news to your kiddos as soon as possible will give them time to cope with the thought of moving. Explain the “why” behind the move, and don’t forget to mention the benefits that will come along with the new home (separate rooms, bigger backyard, etc.), this will give them something to look forward to. Although it’s certainly easier to complete moving tasks in the absence of your children, reconsider - children can gain greater control over their moving anxiety by participating in moving-related tasks.
Keeping Them Involved:
- Kids love it when they feel useful, so let them help with any moving-related tasks they can handle like packing toys, labeling boxes, etc. For younger children, allow them to pack a box of their favorite things to unpack immediately upon arrival. Remember: the goal is to keep them busy.
- Another option is to give your children a glimpse of what’s ahead. Let them tag along when checking out potential neighborhoods, houses, and schools. If your child can't join you, take photos and videos for them to view later.
- Let them know that their opinion is valued and will be considered.
- For children, moving means leaving schools, friends, and local hangouts. Helping them say goodbye to friends and setting up ways for them to stay connected will help them begin to accept and deal with the changes.
- If possible, throw a goodbye party for friends and classmates to attend.
- Emphasize how easy it is to keep in touch through social media, email, and telephones.
Eventually, everyone in the family will adjust to the move in his or her own way. Some children will like the adventure of the new home from the start, but for others it will take longer. Don't take it personally if your children blame you for the difficulty of the move - no matter how much you’ve prepared them, expect them to be slightly upset and allow them the time to adjust to this change. Remember to take plenty of photos and videos during the moving process for them to look back on when they’re feeling homesick. They'll come to love their new home just as much as the old one, so stay patient.
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