Helping Your Kids Adjust To Moving
Moving to a new home, whether across town, or across the country can be both an exciting and very stressful undertaking. There is a lot of planning that goes into a move and one thing that families with children must take into account is how their children will adjust to the move. Especially when moving to a new city and not just down the street, children have to deal with making new friends, attending a new school, and more. Because of all of the changes, it can be difficult for children to adjust, however there are things that can be done to make the transition easier.
Express Your Excitement
If your children can sense your stress, they are more likely to pick up on it and be nervous and scared themselves. While moving is stressful, it is really important to keep a positive attitude around the children. Keep reminding them that while it might be a bit scary to move to a new area, it is also very exciting. They will get to help decorate their new bedroom, meet new people, and explore a new neighborhood. It may also help to encourage kids to help plan for the move. It may put their mind at ease to create a list of moving tasks or a plan for how they will decorate their new space.
Try To Keep Kids Focused on The Positives
Oftentimes when children are told they will be moving to a new area, a sense of fear sets in and they think of all the negatives. They may be upset at the prospect of changing schools, having to make new friends, and being in an area that is unfamiliar to them. Try to spin these fears into positives. Reassure your children and let them know that while they may be nervous, moving will present lots of great, new opportunities. They will have the opportunity to make new friends, and learn about their new community. A new school can give children an opportunity to try new things such as different sports, or other activities. While it is important to keep children focused on positives, it is equally important to not give them an unrealistic expectation of their new home.
Explore Your New Neighborhood
While this may not be feasible for people moving a very long distance, if you are just moving to the next city over, it is a good idea to help your child become familiar with the area prior to moving. Take some trips to the area where your new house is located an allow children to explore. Maybe there is a really neat park, or a zoo that they will enjoy. If children have the opportunity to become familiar with their new neighborhood, it may come as less of a shock when it actually comes time to move. They will already have a sense of the place they are relocating to.
Get Involved in The Community
As a parent, anything you do to get involved in your new community will help your children. As you begin to meet people and make new friends, it will open up opportunities for your children to do the same. It is also a good idea to reach out to other members of the community who may have children around the same age as your kids. Inviting them over for a fun afternoon might make it easier for your kids to make new friends and they may feel more comfortable in their own space. Meeting new people in the neighborhood can also make the first day at a new school much easier as they will see familiar faces that will help to put them at ease.
Help Kids Stay In Contact With Old Friends
It is important that children know that moving to a new neighborhood and making new friends does not mean that they have to give up their old ones. Remind kids that they will be able to stay in touch with their old friends. Even families who are moving to a faraway location can help their kids stay in touch with old friends through letters, email, or even video chats on the computer. Knowing that they will not have to give up the people close to them can help children deal with the concept of moving.
Give Sufficient Notice
Moving can be a big shock to children so it is recommended that they are told as much in advance as possible. This can give them much needed time to come to terms with all of the changes that will be taking place.
While ultimately, it may take some time, kids will adjust to their new neighborhoods. While it is important that parents stay focused on the positives, kids feelings should not be discounted. It is okay for them to feel sad and even scared. With enough support and encouragement, children will come around to the idea of moving and will be able to adjust. Consult the following resources for more information on preparing children for a move.
- Helping Children Adjust To A Move
- When Families Move: Helping Children Adjust
- Preparing Your Child For A Move
- Moving? Tips To Help Your Child With The Transition
- Moving And Young Children
- So, You’re The New Kid on The Block
- Helping Kids Cope With Moving
- How To Make Moving Easier on Kids
- 10 Tips For Moving With Children