Preparing your child for a move
Moving is quite stressful for adults and can be even more so for children. Relocation is a life-changing event for them. It is thought that children find it more difficult than adults to leave their old home and adapt to a new one. Adults can look forward impatiently to the joy and change of pace that a move brings, but a child may view the experience with anxiety or even sadness at the thought of leaving friends and routines behind. It is therefore up to you, the parents, to be watchful and attentive to your little ones and stay close to them throughout what may be a very trying experience for them. Here are some tips to help your kids though a move:
In order to help them through the adaptation process, start with communication. Share your thoughts with them. Make sure you explain the reasons behind the move. Find positive aspects like making new friends, a new teacher who’s really nice, and so on. Get your kids involved in the move. Get them to help you make boxes. Take them to see the new house and neighbourhood, if possible, or go play with them in the park closest to the new place. This will enable them to project themselves into their future lifestyle. Discuss the many new activities available after the move, e.g. sports, leisure or sightseeing.
Be careful not to cut off all familiar ties. For example, keep bringing the kids to see their old friends. This will help minimize the sense of loss.
Decorate the children’s new room the way they want. You can let them pick the colours within an age-appropriate palette. Let your kids pick out their new beds, as well as a whole new layout for the new room—or the exact same one, for that matter.
Be patient and attentive to your child. Give him or her the time necessary to adapt to a new life. Don’t be too demanding, however; your kid could get his or her back up as a result and be more difficult as a result.
Although moving is stressful for the whole family, you need to realize your child does not have the same feelings as you and may have a lot of questions that need answering. Be present for your child, take the time to listen attentively and react accordingly, and things should go smoothly.
So, parents and children alike, have a great move!