Most families move at least once and relocate due to a job transfer or when it’s time to get a larger home. For children, it can be devastating to leave old friends behind and adjust to a new city. When you want to discuss moving with your kids, there are a few important tips to follow.
Allow Them to Be Upset
Change can be difficult for kids who have a fear of the unknown once you talk about moving. Don’t underestimate their losses and allow them to mourn when they need to cry or get upset. Allow them to video chat their old friends or send letters to keep them connected to their friendships. You may also want to schedule sleepovers with their friends at their new house to help your kids have something to look forward to after relocating. Parent-approved social media is also an option for older children, especially if they’re moving away from family members.
Meet the Neighbors
Meeting the neighbors can allow your children to look forward to playing with new friends that are just a few houses away. Begin to plan playdates and activities to help ease the transition and assist them with trying out different groups with their peers. You can also host a housewarming party with the neighbors to make it easier for your little ones to meet other kids their age in the comfort of the new home.
Read Books About Moving
Smaller children can have a difficult time understanding what it means to move, but reading books that focus on the topic can give them a better grasp on the idea. Purchase books with illustrations that are specific to their age group to help them become more comfortable with transitioning into a new home.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
Communicating will prove to be the most effective way of helping your child understand the move and accept it. Give them as much information as possible and involve them in the planning process to help them feel included. Bring them along for the house-hunting process and ask for their input when it comes to the style or size of the home that you should buy. Explore the new neighborhood and visit parks or schools that are in the local area. Making multiple trips to the new neighborhood before you move can ease their nerves and make it easier for them to transition. Whether you purchase a home that is for sale by owner or through a realtor, you should give your child the the freedom to choose which room they want to move into and where the furniture should be placed.
Try to remain patient with the questions that they ask and keep your explanations simple to help them feel more comfortable.
Give Them Time to Settle In
It takes an average of six weeks for most children and teenagers to begin feeling more comfortable in the new home and neighborhood. Allow them to have time to be moody or upset during the process after you’ve moved in. Some children may need more time and others need less.
In some cases, you may need to have your child visit a therapist if they’re still struggling to make new friends or adjust to their school. A professional can address specific concerns and help them process the new season.
Prevent your child from becoming isolated by staying busy with fun activities in the first few weeks. Schedule outings, explore local museums and play sports to prevent them from overthinking the changes that are occurring in their life.
For Children, moving can be a completely foreign and intimidating experience. Although they most likely will go through emotional struggles, doing things that will help support your kids can help ease the process.