So your family is planning to move to another home and you need tips on how to prepare them for this big change. This can be a very trying time especially if they are already stressed out about the other things that they have going on in their lives such as school.
Here, we will show you some ways that you can make this transition easier for the kids:
1. Make Sure Your Kids Are Ready When You Tell Them the News
Prepare for this conversation well in advance of bringing it up with your children. Try to focus on the positives when talking about the move with your kids, not dwelling on what they will be losing or missing out on.
However, your child’s reaction may also depend on their age and different stages in development. Older kids may want to take some time alone after you have told them about a move, but be sure you don’t let them get too far away from you, so they feel safe and secure.
Think twice before giving your child a lot of information about the move. This could scare them, and they will feel as if they have lost control of their lives. Depending on age, realise that children may not have the capacity to understand abstract ideas such as being far from friends or missing family members who will remain in the old city.
2. Involve Them in the Process of Moving
It’s important to keep kids informed about what’s going on. But it can be difficult to know how much information your child will need or want.
Kids of all ages love to help out with projects and tasks, so allow them the opportunity to feel as though they are involved and playing an active role in the relocation process.
For example, when you’re still house hunting, you can use a realtor app that lets you browse properties you can visit even before they make it to the listing. This way, you and the kids won’t have to attend showings with a lot of people.
Another activity is going through the boxes and packing up things they want to take with them. This can help your children feel more confident about leaving their old lives behind.
3. Keep Routines as Normal as Possible
Kids of all ages thrive on routine, so try not to change daily routines too drastically when moving to a new home, including bedtime rituals and mealtimes. Try to keep things stable whenever you can. Creating this kind of structure can help your child to feel more secure.
If you cannot avoid disruptions, then work on being as flexible as possible. For instance, pick a new bedtime that works for everyone in the household, including siblings. If you can’t do something daily, do it frequently. For example, if you usually read them a story every night at the same time, aim for reading it once a week.
4. Help Them Maintain Their Relationships
For kids who have friends they will be leaving behind in their old city, you may want to encourage them to stay in touch by using Skype or Facetime, video chatting with one another.
If they have a lot of good friendships, you might consider moving to the vicinity of their friends so that they can visit them regularly. You can also see if there are any family members who live nearby whom they could stay with during these visits.
5. Have Fun Activities Ready After the Move Is Completed
After you’ve moved to a new home, schedule some fun activities that your kids may enjoy doing with both friends and family members. This can take the focus off of any stress caused by having to adjust to a new city, neighborhood and home.
If you’re not sure where to start, try taking them out for ice cream or to the library. Let your child’s interests influence the activities you plan together after moving to a new place. Regardless of age, be sure they know it’s all right to have fun with this transition.
6. Let Them Express Their Feelings
Allow your child to speak freely about his or her thoughts and feelings about the move. Don’t force them to talk when they don’t want to, but make sure you create an environment where your children know it is safe for them to express their emotions in the face of the changes in their environment.
Also, if they don’t want to talk about it, that’s okay. There are other ways for them to express their feelings and thoughts, such as through art or play. Give them the tools and then step back and let them create.
Children are adaptable, and they will adjust to new surroundings in time. Offer your children reassurances about the move when you can so that they don’t go through this process alone.
Remember that you are not moving alone. It’s a family decision. Be more attentive and sensitive to what your kids feel about the transition. This way, everyone can have a smooth, stress-free experience.