Relocating isn’t easy at all. Leaving your familiar surroundings behind and resettling somewhere else can be a daunting experience for adults. Children, however, are even more disturbed by moving. They have to change schools, say goodbye to friends, and familiarize themselves with a new environment. Studies show that moving can be as traumatic for children as a parent’s hospitalization. So, what can parents do to help their kids cope with relocating?
This blog shares some tips to make your children comfortable with moving. Follow these suggestions and switch homes without stressing your kids out:
- Communicate with your child honestly
Effective communication is the best way to help your kids cope with this stressful experience. You must sit your kids down and explain why you’re switching homes. Tell them when you guys are moving, what their new home looks like, and what changes they should expect.
If possible, take your kids to their new house to familiarize them with their new surroundings. Give them some time to absorb all this information. You need to listen to them actively when they ask questions about relocating. Also, assure them that everything is going to be all right.
- Get help when relocating to a new place
You can ask your family and friends to lend a helping hand. Borrow moving containers from them to pack your belongings efficiently, or you can hire professional movers to make the moving process easier for the whole family. Search online and find well-reviewed, licensed, and experienced movers to transport your stuff to your new house. Work with a BBB-accredited company in your neighborhood, such as First Class Moving Systems, to organize a stress-free long-distance move.
At First Class Moving Systems, you can book residential, commercial, and even international moves. It gives you more time to spend with your kids, console them, and help them cope with moving.
- Involve your kids in the moving process
Interactive relocation is less stress-inducing to kids, so you should include your children in the moving process. Read helpful books with them, such as My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, and Big Move by Attanasio Woodring, to make relocation appear less like a dreadful experience and more like a family getaway.
Also, involve your kid in the packing process. Give them some control over the relocation process. For instance, they can choose which stuff goes into which boxes. They may also help you out with labeling these boxes. These simple activities will make relocation a more comfortable process for the kids.
- Make a book about moving
You can turn this experience into an adventure for your kids by creating a book about moving. It goes like a typical movie montage in which the main characters take several pictures, glue them onto a scrapbook, and write captions detailing their important milestones beneath them.
Help your kid write a biographical account of the relocation. This book can describe why your family is relocating long-distance, how the kids learn to cope with leaving their buddies behind, and what kind of exciting new adventures await them in their new town. Scrapbooking is a surefire way to make your kids dig something positive out of a seemingly messy experience.
- Tolerate your child’s mood swings
Some kids won’t take this news well and throw a tantrum, yelling at the top of their voices that they don’t want to move. These mood swings may occur days after you break the news to them. Sometimes, the child is excited about the move but changes their mind about it the next day. Well, it’s just how kids come to terms with difficult news. They may go through extreme mood swings, and you must give them a pass this time. Let them go through this emotional rollercoaster.
If you want to help, talk about the exciting and adventuresome aspects of the relocation process. Explain to your kids how to keep in touch with their family and friends via technology.
- Honor your child’s grief
Understand why your child is sad, angry, and in denial about this experience. Parents should allow kids to overcome grief healthily. Make sure you take enough pictures of the house before leaving. Visit your kid’s favorite playgrounds, libraries, restaurants, and other landmarks in the city for a final visit.
Have your kid’s friends come home to say goodbye. Be sure to exchange addresses so your child can keep in contact with their friends even after leaving. Before driving to your new home, take a last look at your old place, walk around the empty house, and bid farewell to days gone by.
- Cultivate new friendships with locals
After relocating, your kids may have difficulty adjusting to their new climate. It’s difficult for kids to cultivate new friendships with local kids soon after switching homes, particularly if you have relocated to a faraway destination. You need to take the first step and connect with your neighbors. Introduce yourself to your neighbors (especially the ones with kids) and invite them to your housewarming party so your children can have new playmates.
Similarly, befriend other parents at your kid’s school so your child can learn to trust other kids and not consider them strangers. Your proactive friendships will soon help your kid integrate into their new environment.
- Plan fun activities after moving
It’s more difficult for adults to cope with moving by themselves. Relocating with kids becomes a grave problem when parents move frequently. Studies show that kids who changed schools more than thrice are 60% more likely to exhibit psychosis-linked symptoms than other children. So, ideally, parents can safeguard their kid’s mental well-being by not moving too often when the child is growing.
But, if moving becomes unavoidable, you can engage kids in these activities to help them cope: Go to the playground with them, visit the new town’s amazing attractions, and unpack their room first. That’s how you can hope to reduce the stress of moving and keep your kids emotionally healthy.
Moving is stress-inducing for the whole family, but you can turn it into an exciting adventure for your kids by following the abovementioned tips. Give your kids control, tolerate their anger, and let them say goodbye to the old home in the way they prefer. You can engage in fun activities like making a scrapbook with your kids. Also, declutter your house and hire professional movers to transport your stuff. That’s how you can help your kids cope with moving successfully in 2023.