Moving can seem overwhelming for anyone, after all, you are leaving the familiar behind and starting fresh. So, you can only imagine how this may feel to a child compared to a stable adult who has more than likely already experienced many changes in their life.
Unless your child is still a baby or an infant, he/she will likely miss the community, the house, the teacher, and his/her little friends. Besides this feeling of loss, he/she will need to go to switch to a new school which isn't always easy. The reality is that many children worry about becoming "the new kid" and this may affect them. It may also be difficult for him to make new friends.
While all this may be true, it doesn't mean that moving needs to be a negative experience. In order to ensure that your move is seen in your child’s eyes as a positive thing, you’ll need to keep the lines of communication open, prepare for the move in advance, and you’ll need to try and always maintain a positive attitude.
Here are 4 tips for moving with children:
#1: Plan and Prepare:
Before you start the moving process, be sure to speak with your child. Explain to your child what is about to happen and what they might expect. Focus on the positive but be sure not to leave out possible challenges so they can prepare themselves mentally. The reality is that it is a lot easier for children to deal with things they are anticipating.
There are things you can do to help children see this change as positive. You can ask your child to choose the colour for his/her new room or you can simply encourage him/her to pack some of their favorite items by themselves. This will allow your child to feel in control of the situation and, ultimately, will deliver some peace of mind
While you may be anxious, nervous, and stressed out due to the move, it’s important to ensure that you don't ever show this to your child. Instead, make sure your child knows he/she can come to you with questions or concerns at any time.
#3: Create A Routine:
Children need routine. This is how they work best. So, as soon as you arrive at your new home, try to create or recreate some familiar routines for your children. While regular meals and bedtimes may not be on your priority list with all the unpacking, the reality is that your children need stability and they need to be able to count on you to create the stability they require.
Consider unpacking familiar items for your child first, things such as teddy bears, bedspreads and his/her favourite toys. Display family pictures or anything your child was used to seeing every day in your previous home. These small gestures will make your child feel more comfortable in their new environment.
#4: Making New Friends Without Forgetting the Old Ones:
While your child is still young, he/she may not have any issues making new friends. but this can be a difficult adjustment for teenagers. The reality is that at this age, most teenagers have developed a solid group of friends. Keeping this in mind, your teenager might feel isolated in a new environment away from all their old friends.
The best thing you can do is encourage him/her to make new friends. For example, you might consider signing your kids up for extracurricular activities which will allow them to meet other teens with the same interests.
While it is important for children to build new friendships, it is also important to maintain their original friends, so encourage your teenager to stay in contact and make every effort to accommodate occasional visits to your old neighbourhood.