You’ve bought a new home, and while you are looking forward to moving – your children may not be sharing in your excitement. Relocating can be a stressful and often scary event for children. They may feel a lack of control and are anxious about their whole lives changing.
As a parent, it is up to you to help ease your children’s stress and show them that moving can be an adventure. By setting an enthusiastic tone initially, you can make a huge difference in how your children cope with and approach relocating. The following are a few tips to help you reduce your children’s anxiety and make moving a positive experience for the entire family.
- Keep your children informed. The best way to prepare children for a move is to tell them as much about it as you can.
- Ask for their opinions. Consult your children about choices whenever possible. For example, find out what your children like and don’t like about your existing house and use their suggestions when looking for a new home.
- Stress the positive. While you should share your concerns about moving, be sure not to dwell on the stress or uncertainty. Instead, highlight the positive aspects of the move. For instance, you will live on a lake and go swimming all of the time, you will be near a major league baseball park, or you will now be able to visit grandparents more often.
- Assurance is key. Continually assure your children that they will meet many new friends and have lots of things to do in their new neighborhood and at their new school.
- Keep them involved in the moving process. This will encourage their interest for their new home and community. One simple way to keep them involved is to give them a job, such as packing up their favorite toys and labeling them with markers and stickers.
- Show them their new home. Once you have decided on your new home take your children for a visit and allow them to become familiar with their new surroundings. If they are unable to visit prior to the move show them lots of pictures and videos. Also, give your children a photo of their new home and room to show it off to their friends.
- Accentuate the activities. Before you actually move find places in your new community for the things your children like to do. For instance, if your child takes art lessons, find and share information about the new art studio they can go to.
- Prepare your teens. Often teens are only worried about fitting in. They may be worried about making new friends and what will be different in the new school. They are curious about how the kids in the new city dress, wear their hair, and what kind of cars they drive. If possible, take pictures of all of these things to help reduce your teen’s uncertainty.
- Research the schools. Learn as much as possible about the schools in the new community. You will want to choose an area that has schools with a quality reputation and curriculum. Carefully investigate the curriculum differences between your current school and the new school. Then, you can make the appropriate tutoring or advanced placement arrangements. Once you have gathered information about the school share it with your children. Be sure to emphasize the extra curricular activities that they would find interesting.
- Plan to stay connected. Farewell parties give your children an opportunity to say good-bye to their friends and feel cared about. Explain that they can stay in touch with future visits, email, letters and phone calls.