Millions of families pack up their belongings and embark on new journeys every year. Some move to reduce their expenses; others move for employment opportunities, increase their space or, perhaps even, to make a fresh start. Moving can be stressful for everyone, but it can be especially taxing for children who are used to a routine and often don’t understand the reasons for moving.
Here are some tips to help prepare youngsters for a move and to make the transition less disruptive and stressful:
Acknowledge the move – No matter the age of your children, ensure that you talk to them about the upcoming move. Update your kids on all the process and the stages of the upcoming move. Statistics show that kids need time to adjust and warm up to new ideas and major changes in their lives .Ensure that you talk to them in the best way possible about the changes and be prepared to answer any questions that they may ask you. Ensure that your kids understand that you are willing at any time to discuss with them their concern.
Plan ahead – Parents can ease the transition by providing children with advance information about the new school and community. It might be a good idea to contact the school ahead of time and arrange a tour so the child will have a better idea of what to expect before the first day of class. If information about the new school and new community is available online, provide a visual introduction to the new area before making the move. To make the transition smoother, develop a plan for keeping children in touch with their old friends.
Visit your new home with your kids- before the official move try to bring your kids with you when you are looking for the new house so that they actually understand and accept that the family will actually be moving. If you are moving to a different state show your kids using a map where you will be moving in the next few days .If there is climate difference in the new area try to explain to your kids and assure them that everything is in order. Also explain to them any nearby attraction sites that may interest them such as mountains, amusement park or oceans.
Gather information about sports and extra-curricular activities- If possible, ensure that you gather enough credible information on the sports or any other extracurricular activities that may interest your child. Your child will be comfortable if he/she knows that he/she will still play his/her favorite sport once he/she moves to the new place.
Talk about it – The most important thing is for parents to recognize that children deal with change differently. Do not expect children to approach a move in the same way as adults. Talk to children about their feelings. Discuss how to make new friends and how to deal with a new school.
Pay attention – Be aware of the signs that your child might be struggling, such as changes in sleep patterns, loss of appetite, sadness, or irritability. Some children may need professional help to deal with a big change such as a move.
For many families, moving is a common part of life. Regardless of frequency, major changes should be addressed with understanding and support. Planning ahead, discussing concerns and trepidations, and keeping a close eye on behavior, can often soften the blow for a child and make for an emotionally healthy transition.
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