Moving can be a challenging experience for anyone, but it can be especially tough on children. Children thrive on stability and routine, and the prospect of leaving behind friends, schools, and familiar surroundings can be daunting. As sad as it is to say, some children even eventually become depressed because of this major life change that they never wanted.
But in the end, moving is natural; children do it, adults do it, and everyone does it at least once in their life. As an adult, you know the massive wave of opportunities that are out there. You know about the possibilities that moving brings, and you know what’s going to be open for your child, too.
But of course, they don’t see that; they see a bad change that they never asked for, and they see a scary environment they don’t want to be in. While plenty of TV shows and movies geared towards kids will even discuss moving or being the new kid, it’s all still very scary. But in the end, as a parent, you need to discuss with your child about the big move. Just nicely and calmly communicating with them, you’re going to be enhancing their childhood development. So, here’s exactly what you can do to help communicate with your child and to get them to embrace the change of moving.
It All Starts with Communication
The first step in helping your child accept a move is open communication. You’re going to want to sit down with your child and discuss the move in a calm and reassuring manner. Be sure to encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings. You’re also going to want to be prepared for a wide range of emotions, from excitement to sadness or even anger. Let your child know that it’s okay to feel these emotions and that you’re there to support them throughout the process.
Try and Get Them Involved in the Decision-Making Process
While you don’t need to get them to help you look for top rated storage, what you can do instead is get them to help with other things. Maybe help pick the new home or where their bedroom will be. What they want to keep and what they want to discard. When children feel like they have a sense of control, they may be more willing to accept the change. So be sure to give them something they feel like they have some control over.
Keep Them Informed
You don’t want everything to seem like a big secret, so it’s best not to do that to them. Children often fear the unknown, so providing information about the new location can help ease their anxiety. So you might want to just show them pictures of the new house, their future school, and the local parks or attractions. If possible, visit the new area together before the move to explore and get a feel for the surroundings. Overall, don’t try to hide it or beat around the bush; they need to know what’s up. Unless they’re a toddler, they have the right to know what’s going on.
Routines are Everything
There’s no doubt about it that change can be fairly unsettling. But in general, you need to maintain a routine, as this is going to make life feel a tad more normal. Keep bedtime, meal times, and other daily routines as consistent as possible. Familiar rituals can offer comfort and a sense of normalcy during a time of transition. You and your child need to feel this stability during the time of moving and settling into the new location.
Have Proper Goodbyes
Chances are, you remember growing up when you had a friend or someone you knew, and just one day, you never saw them again, only to find out that they moved. For your child, be sure to give them the chance to say their goodbyes. Make sure that you encourage your child to spend quality time with their friends before leaving. Why not consider hosting a farewell party or playdate to make the goodbyes more meaningful? Overall, all of this is hands-down needed for the moving process; you want to make sure that not only you have closure, but your child has closure, too.
Patience is Everything
It’s harder for a child to stay patient, but as the parent/ guardian, you definitely need to keep patient with all of this. This is a big adjustment for them, and no matter how many times a child moves, it’s going to be hard for them to just let go of something they found to be enjoyable and stable. Understand that they may have setbacks or moments of sadness. You’re also going to want to reassure them that it’s okay to miss their old home and friends while encouraging them to focus on building new relationships and making new memories.
Push That Sense of Belonging ASAP
It’s not just the fear of change that children utterly hate, but leaving that sense of belonging that they had. If a child grew up and went to the same school, had the same friends, did the same club/ sports for years, and had involvement in the community, then that sense of belonging that they had is being pulled away from them. So, what you’re going to have to do is push them to immediately be active the moment you all get settled into your new home; this is absolutely vital.
Keep Staying Positive
Just as you need to stay patient, you’re also going to have to stay positive, too. Children often take cues from their parents, so maintaining a positive attitude about the move is crucial. Emphasize the exciting opportunities and adventures that await in the new location. Your optimism can help your child see the move as an exciting new chapter in their life. While it’s not always the case, for the most part, if they sense that you’re happy and you’re doing alright, then they know they’re going to be doing alright, too.