Moving to a new home can be difficult for everyone, especially for the children. You might be prepared for some whining, crying and door slamming once you tell your kids that you are moving across town or across the country and that they have to say goodbye to their friends.
Try these tips to help dial down the drama and make the process less stressful for everyone.
Discussing the move with kids
Prepare your kids by informing them early about the move. Let them know when things are happening and why. If possible, tell them about the move several months in advance. That gives enough time to process the information.
Share information about your new home, state or town and encourage questions. Try to answer them completely and truthfully. It is also a good idea to visit the new home and town with your kids before the move.
Focus on the positive
Children tend to think about the negative side of moving. This is especially true if the relocation means separating from someone they love and depend on – friends, relatives, teachers and coaches. This often results in feelings of sadness, anxiety or even anger.
To make the move easier, try to focus on the positive aspects of what awaits in your home. Tell them that is a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. It is also a chance to learn and live in a new city and be exposed to new cultural traditions.
Allow their angst
When children deal with moving, they often become sad or angry. You shouldn’t attempt to hype a move in the hopes of distracting the kids from their negative feelings.
Acknowledge their sadness about leaving their friends behind. Encourage them to have a good cry, if that’s what’s needed.
Try to involve the in the move as much as possible
Some kids may have trouble understanding why you need to move, especially if they were not involved in the decision-making process.
Although children may not have veto power over the move, involving them in the planning can make them feel like participants. Plus, they won’t feel like it is being forced on them.