Moving can be both an exciting and a hectic time. From trying to get things packed and the kids prepared to go, to dealing with the emotions that can sweep through you as you say goodbye to your home.
One of the hardest parts of moving can be preparing your kids. Children seem affected from not wanting to lose their room, to being worried about making new friends or how it will go in a new place. Kids seem full of these worries about moving.
So, what can you do?
Let them talk about it
Change is coming, and while it can be exciting for adults it can be frightening for kids. Part of preparing them is being okay with the fact that they may not be excited. Letting them talk about what their worries are, and make plans for the new place where possible.
As you’re talking there will likely be a lot of places where you can comfort and reassure your children, and this can go a long way to making them feel better about the move. Don’t dismiss their ideas, answer them with comfort and calm. Just being there to hear them and reassure them is going to go a long way to helping them start to feel better.
Realise kids may act out a little as they’re nervous and anxious about a move. Be prepared for this, and while it still deserves answer, be a little forgiving as you know they’re going through a hard time.
Get them involved wherever possible
Let them pick the colour of their new room. Have them weigh in on where their furniture will go, take them with you to meet the neighbours, go exploring together. The more involved kids feel, the easier it will be to get them to relax.
Do something fun with their new friends
Take them all to the park, play a game of soccer, maybe throw a little tea party. Give your kids a low-key way to get involved with some of the new kids around. This doesn’t have to mean throwing a huge party, but could be as simple as inviting a few of their friends over for an afternoon.
Encourage older kids to keep in touch with old friends
There’s no reason to let go of old friendships in the process of making new ones. If your older teens want to call or write to their friends, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t happen. Just make sure it’s not stopping them from getting out and talking to new people every now and then, and let them enjoy.
Let the kids see their new school before attending, if possible
A lot of schools let new students have a tour or explore a little before signing up for the term. Let your children see where they’re going to help them start to get more excited about what’s coming, rather than sad about what’s been left behind.
Join clubs if interested
The final great way to help kids adjust to a move is to help them connect with the new community, to help them adjust to the loss of the old one. Get them into a club or take them out to meet new people where possible. The key here is connection.
The more wiggle room you give to the kids in adjusting to the move, the better they will ultimately adjust. You’ll do great at guiding them simply by keeping a few of these basic principles in mind. Remember that moving is likely an adjustment for you too, and you had control in it happening.