The decision to move your family isn’t always easy. Even if it promises opportunity, moving somewhere new is stressful for all ages. Moving away from friends, family and the comforts of their current home can stir up a range of emotions. Over the years, we have helped many families with children, from infants to teenagers, navigate the ups and downs of moving. Here are some ideas to ease their emotional strain (and yours) when it comes to moving with children.
Talk It Out
As soon as it is decided, it is advised to start a discussion with your children. Allowing them proper time to ask questions is important to their acceptance of the decision to move. Help them stay positive about all of the things that will stay the same when you move to your new home. Tears and anger are to be expected when they think about the unknown future, but preparing them as much as you can will hopefully shorten the time it takes for them to accept it and move on.
Make Plans to Help Them Maintain Relationships
Leaving behind familiar faces is always hard, especially if you are at an age where social circles are the be-all, end-all. Fortunately, technology is making it easier for children to stay in touch and maintain long-distance friendships. If your child is older, gaming, texting, and social media are all ways that they can actively remain a part of the peer group they have leave behind. If your child is younger, set up a Skype play-date on the weekend, and allow them time to catch-up and some space to imagine together.
Monkey See – Monkey Do
Your children will be looking to you for help, and as an example, during this tumultuous time. If they see you tackling the day with same amount of gusto and positive energy, before and after the move, the familiarity may help them stick to their own routine with a better outlook on the future. Create a situation where your child can copy the way you introduce yourself to new people –like the new neighbors! If they see you staying excited and preparing to try new things, they might be encouraged to do the same.
Explore the Community
No matter the age, making new friends will seem daunting. Try signing your kids up for summer day camps, weekly group activities, or encourage them to join a club sport during the school year. After initial icebreakers, it’ll be a breeze for them to make friends among other like-minded children. Or try volunteering as a family; you could all make new friends together while getting to know your new town.
A feeling of lost control can be the main instigator of your child’s sadness and anger. Their adaptation will happen at it’s own pace -the only certainty is the steady prompting and support you give them. Ask them for help with situation-appropriate tasks, and they will come to accept this change through their own actions. Let them see their feelings are valued, and that their opinions are important, and they will be less inclined to lash out at you and more likely start accepting the moving process.
Moving with children can be tough. Your family might have a hard time thinking positively about such a big change, especially when the move is happening whether they like it or not. Let them take pictures, encourage them to talk to friends about moving, and try to arrange visits if possible. Remember, allowing your children time to adjust is equally as important as encouraging them to move forward.
For more information and helpful moving tips, contact Sorensen Moving and Storage for all of your moving needs. Simply submit the contact form to the right or call one of our convenient Central Florida locations.