Most of us do it several times throughout our lives, yet the thought of moving seems to send a chill down our collective spines. Let’s just face it, moving is stressful. Aside from the stress of finding the right movers, we go above and beyond; we get rid of the things we don’t want or need, organize the best we can, and make all the foreseen necessary preparations. Although, all of those things are very helpful, no matter the amount of preparation, it never seems to be any easier or less stressful.
For children, moving can be exponentially more stressful. The worry about adjusting to the new place, acclimating to a new school, making new friends, and leaving their old life behind. This can make them feel like their whole world has been flipped upside down.
As parents, we naturally do not like seeing our children overly distressed. You can make the move a little less stressful and make the most of this life event by helping your child cope with this big change. We have put together a few things you can do to help ease their stress, and maybe make the transition a little easier on yourself too.
Let Your Children Be Heard
Give your children plenty of opportunities to express to you all of their worries, concerns, and fears. They may feel less out of control if they can vocalize exactly how they’re feeling, about the big long distance move. Once they’ve gotten it off their chests, no matter how many times they need to do this, they’ll certainly feel at least a little better, and more positive about the move.
Reassure Your Children
Once you’ve given your kids an opportunity to voice their feelings, acknowledge what they’ve said and how they feel. Express to them that you understand. Then reassure them by discussing all the wonderful things to look forward to in their new town. Talk about activities they may participate in. Or let them be a part of the big house hunt.
Moving With Small Children
Though the actual logistics of moving with smaller children can be difficult, the emotional impact can be so much easier. Unlike older children, little kids such as preschoolers or even toddlers haven’t had a chance to form a bond with other kids that have lasted years.
Of course listen to them to see if they have any anxiety about the move, but also spend a lot of time talking about all the exciting aspects of the move.
Moving With Adolescents
The teen years are tough. They’re even tougher on a kid who is going through a move and starting out in a new town and a new school. While changing things up in the middle of adolescence isn’t ideal, it’s often necessary.
Be extra mindful of how your teenage son or daughter is feeling about the move. It may be harder or easier to communicate with them about it depending on their particular personality. They also may express their frustrations in not so obvious ways.
Once you do move, make sure you’ve done everything you can to help them feel settled in. If you know anyone in the area who can introduce your children to other friends, give that a try. If your son or daughter is involved in sports or extracurricular activities, make sure you continue that in the new town.
Maintain Old Connections
Make sure your children don’t feel like they’ve been cut off from their old friends. Helping them to maintain a lifeline back to their old friends for emotional support can ease the transition significantly. Those friendships may fade away in time, but keeping them fostered now will help your child adjust to the move.