A family move can have an enormous impact on children because it takes away all that is familiar.
They will have to make new friends, settle into a new school and familiarize themselves with different surroundings. This is a lot for children to absorb.
Let’s explore some ways to help children through a family move.
Give them some control
When you tell your kids you are moving, they can feel powerless. They don’t get a say in the matter and it’s hard.
So, offer them a bit of control. Let them pick their rooms in the new house or choose the first restaurant to eat out at.
Or, if you haven’t yet selected a new home, let the kids help to develop a family wish list for the new place. If they can have some input as to where the family will move, it will lessen their pain.
Decorate the new house
Since moving can be a downer for kids, you have to do anything and everything to make it fun. Try to lift your children’s spirits and get them a bit excited for their new life.
Let them design their room with decorations, stickers and posters. You can even let them choose the color that they want their room to be and help paint it.
Throw a party
One of the best ways to establish closure between your children and the old home is to throw a “going away” party before the big move. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate but it will allow for a formal “goodbye” to their old home.
It makes for an easier disconnect. This way, the old home won’t be on their mind as much when they move.
Make the rounds
Another way to establish closure between your children and their old surroundings is to take them around to the places and people that they will be leaving behind. Let them spend some time there and get a sense of closure.
This will let them close the door on their old home and get their mind focused on what is yet to come.
Sometimes, a discussion about the move will help your children cope. If they are allowed to verbalize their true thoughts and feelings in front of you, it might be therapeutic. A long talk about the moving process will mentally prepare your children to actually do it.
Let them ask questions and voice their concerns. Kids need reassurance when it comes to a family move. The more they know about the moving process, the less frightened they’ll be.
Keep your children’s furniture
Don’t scrap your children’s furniture for newer items without checking with them first. Kids may want familiarity and taking away all of their bedroom’s furniture could make them that much more uncomfortable in their new environment.
If you can’t keep all their furniture, let the kids choose at least a few things that they’d like to take with them.
Parents must realize that a family move often means much more to children than adults. Kids don’t fully understand the world, and when they are uprooted, they feel as though the center of their universe has spun away.
Try to view the experience from the vantage point of your children and act accordingly.
Information credit to BC Alberta Movers, Canada Moving Companies.
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