When you make any major change in life, it takes some adjusting for everyone involved. When children experience change, it often takes a harder toll. This is because children like routine and familiarity.
If you must move a great distance, you can help your child adjust to the idea of moving and how to cope with their new life. Your goal will be to eliminate apprehension and fears and get your children excited about all the new opportunities that await them.
Here are some moving tips to help your children embrace change:
1. Take your child’s reaction into consideration. Sometimes your kids will be excited about a move, and sometimes not. How does your child feel about the move? While you make the ultimate decisions for the family, your kids need to feel like their opinion matters and that they’re an important part of the decision making process, too.
2. Discuss fears and emotions. Even kids that are excited about moving may run into fears and other negative emotions as the date draws near. Talk these emotions through with your children. They need to know that what they’re feeling is completely normal and that everyone feels a little apprehension when a big change is coming.
3. Talk about friends. Many times your children will be sad about the friends they’re leaving behind. Let them know how easy it is to keep up the lines of communication. Just because they won’t see their friends all the time doesn’t mean that they can’t keep in touch through Facebook, email, video chats, or phone calls.
4. Share the timetable. Go over each step of the way as you prepare for the big move. Tell your child the date that you anticipate moving and go over all of the steps you’ll be taking in order to get there. If they know certain events are coming, it won’t be as much of a shock when the big day arrives.
5. Describe the new place. Tell your children all about where they’ll be living. Since it’s further away, chances are that it has a different climate and a whole new set of activities for the kids. Do what you can to get your children excited about their new home. Focus on the exciting new opportunities and the new places to experience.
6. Take a trip to the new locale. If possible, take a trip with your children to their new home in advance of the moving date. Let them tour the place and describe how things will work once you’re in the new home. It’ll help them to visualize their new life so it won’t seem like so much of a mystery to them.
7. Tell them what will stay the same. Discuss some of the things that won’t be changing about your family. This will give your child an extra sense of security. For example, explain how your love is constant and how it’ll never change.
- Even these seemingly obvious statements will help your kids cope with change.
8. Plan a visit to their old home. If feasible for your family, plan a visit to your old house after you’ve moved. Your children will be excited to know that they can visit their old friends and old familiar places, rather than just completely leaving their old life behind.
Moving far away inherently contains a multitude of challenges. Use these moving tips to ease your child’s mind so they can embrace the change.