Most families need to move at some point. Whether it is for work, family or the need for a new home, moving can be a hectic experience. As disruptive as moving can be for parents, the experience can be even more traumatic for kids. Especially since they may not be a part of the decision to move and might not understand it.
Kids need time and special attention during the transition. Try these tips to make the process less stressful for everyone.
When to Move
Kids do well with familiarity and routine. When you consider a move, weigh the benefits of change against the challenges of facing a new school, new surroundings and social life.
If your family has recently dealt with a major life change, such as divorce or death, you may want to postpone a move, if possible, to give kids time to adjust.
The decision to move may be out of your hands but try to maintain a positive attitude about it. During times of transition, a parent’s moods and attitudes can greatly affect kids, who may be looking for reassurance.
Discussing the Move With Kids
No matter what the circumstances, the most important way to prepare kids for a move is to talk about it.
Try to give them as much information about the move as possible. Answer questions completely and truthfully, and be receptive to both positive and negative reactions. Even if the move means an improvement in family life, kids don’t always understand that and may be focused on the frightening aspects of the change.
Involve kids in the planning process as much as possible. This makes them feel like participants in the house-hunting process or the search for a new school. It make the change feel less like it’s being forced on them and more like a cooperative decision.
If you’re moving nearby, try to take your kids to visit the new house (or see it being built) and explore the new neighbourhood.
For long distance moves, provide as much information as you can about the new home, city, and state (or country). Use the Internet to learn about the community. Learn where kids can participate in their favourite activities. Share pictures of the new house with the kids to get them excited.
After Moving Day
Try to get your child’s room in order before turning your attention to the rest of the house. Also, try to maintain your regular schedule for meals and bedtime to give kids a sense of familiarity.
When your child does start school, you may want to go along to meet as many teachers as possible and introduce your child to the principal.
Be realistic about the transition, set reasonable expectations. Teachers expect new kids to feel somewhat comfortable in their classes in about 6 weeks. Some kids need less time; others might need more. Encourage your child or teen to keep up with old friends through phone calls, video chats, parent-approved social media, and other ways to stay connected.
A move can present many challenges, but good things also come from this kind of change. Your family might grow closer and you may learn more about each other by going through it together.
For more tips on making your move a smooth one visit www.mikethemover.ca