Top Tips for Helping Kids Cope with Moving Home
Moving house is a stressful experience for everyone, but it can be especially tough on kids. If you’re going just down the street, it might be disappointing to leave the old house, but it’s not devastating. But moving to a new city, state or even country can feel like the end of the world to a child or teenager. They have to leave behind everything they know, including their friends, school, and neighborhood. Getting to know a new area and making new friends is difficult for anyone, but it can be even harder for children who may feel less than confident about fitting in.
And when something upsets your kids, it makes your life more difficult too. When you move, you want to try your best to make it easier on your kids and, for this reason, easier for yourself. It can be difficult to avoid a certain level of resentment coming from them, and you can’t make everything perfect. But you can help to make the process smoother for them by doing a few simple things. Make the whole family happier by following some of these tips for helping the kids to cope with moving home.
A big move will be harder to process if it’s sudden and your children haven’t had time to adjust to the idea. Although sometimes you can’t avoid moving quickly, you should give your kids enough notice of the move when you can. If they know about it months or even a year or more in advance, they’ll have time to think it over and come to terms with it. You can also spend time preparing for their lives in the new neighborhood. You might be able to do things like visiting their new school ahead of them starting there or looking at places for them to do after-school activities. For example, if your child likes skating you can take them to see the local skate park or read about it if it’s too far away to visit.
Whether your kids are younger or older, it will be easier for them if they know what to expect when you move. Where will they go to school, who can they make friends with and how will it be different to your current home? They also will have plenty of time to work out how they’ll stay in contact with their friends and perhaps think about coming back to see them after the move. You can go and see the new house and walk around the neighborhood, so that when you make the move it will feel a bit more familiar.
Keep Communication Open
As with every parenting hurdle, communication is critical to understanding your children when you move home. They need to be able to feel comfortable expressing their feelings, without having them waved away or ignored. It’s important that they get more in return for sharing their thoughts than constant reassurances that everything will work out fine. Although you want to assure them that the move won’t have a negative impact on their lives, they need to feel like they’re allowed to have doubts and negative emotions. Not everything needs a clear solution right away, and sometimes children just want to let it all out, instead of looking for answers.
It’s important to recognize that many children have trouble fitting into a new environment, even if they’re usually confident and sociable. You should make sure that your kids feel able to talk about their day and come to you with any problems. It helps to have a line of communication with their school too, so you know if they have any trouble fitting in.
Lead By Example
Your children might not be happy about moving, but you can help by showing them how good it will be for all the family. The experts on The Professionals Movers blog say that in the stress of moving house, someone needs to step up and provide some happiness and comic relief. If you don’t go through the process with a positive attitude, the whole family could start to feel that you’re doing the wrong thing. Don’t succumb to the doubts and fears of your children, even if you have some of your own. It’s your job to show them that you’re doing the right thing and that it’s for the family and not just for you.
Give Them a Life Outside School
It can be a lot of pressure if the only place your kids can make friends is at school. If they’re struggling to find a group of people to socialize with, especially if you move in the middle of the school year, they can feel very isolated. Some people say that it’s best to go midway through the academic year, so kids can make friends right away. But when there are activities to participate in during the summer, they can easily get to know people in their grade before they start school. It will help them transition if they have something they enjoy getting involved with, whether it’s a day camp or music lessons. If they have several channels through which to meet other children, there’s less pressure for them to find someone in their class that they get along with.
Help Teens Stay Connected
Moving long-distance can be especially hard for teenagers because they’re likely to have a stable social circle already. It can also be more difficult for them to find a new group of friends to fit into, as teenagers don’t make friends and easily as younger children. You can help your teenagers by allowing them to stay connected to their old friends in a number of ways. It’s very easy for them to keep in touch, using social media and apps like Skype that allow them to video chat. But you can also give them the option of visiting your old neighborhood or having friends come to stay. Many teenagers may also feel resentment that they’re missing out on significant events with their friends, such as prom. Arranging for them to attend these occasions can help to ease them into the move.