Whether you’re moving for a new job or other life transition, it can be difficult to relocate and leave your community behind. Think about all the changes you’re experiencing and multiply that tenfold for your children. Adjusting to new environments, especially leaving friends and school can be extremely difficult for them but there are ways to help them cope.
In this post, we’ve pulled together steps you can take to ease your children’s anxieties about the big move and help them adjust to their new community.
Your kids will likely push the negative feelings when you bring up a big family move. They’re losing friends and changing schools, and at any age, this is a big adjustment. They may be scared to be the new kid. They’ll have to transition to some different social rules. Plus, they may be leaving behind some of their favorite activities like a sports team or choir.
Help them prepare by placing emphasis on the positive aspects of what’s to come. It’s an exciting opportunity to live in and learn about a new city. They may even be exposed to new cultural traditions ways of life that will help them grow into a more well-rounded adult. Plus, as scary and daunting as it may seem now, they can make new friends and develop new hobbies.
If they tend to struggle socially or academically, ensure them that you will be there as a support system at all times. You will help them find the help they need to adjust to the new school and encourage them to get involved in different activities to make new groups of friends.
Another positive can be to help them understand why the move is necessary for your family. If it’s bringing financial benefits or other improvements to the table, let them know that this will pay off and even though it’s an adjustment now, things will eventually level out and be okay.
With change comes a whole set of new emotions and feelings. That’s why it’s very important to give your children as much notice as possible about the move. Always acknowledge their sadness about leaving behind friends and familiar places and let them know that you understand they’re nervous about the transition. Be encouraging during this time and ensure that you will do your best to make the move as easy as possible for the entire family, and emphasize some of the positive aspects listed earlier.
If you’re feeling nervous about the move, don’t hesitate to express these feelings to your children. It may help them feel less alone and make them more comfortable to open up about their own feelings. Even though openness is encouraged, be sure to stay optimistic so you don’t fuel any more stress for them.
You can turn fear into excitement but introducing them to their new community. Most likely, they’ll find that it’s not much different than the one you live now. Show them their new school and even try to schedule a visit inside so they can get a sense of what’s to come. This can help relieve tension.
And look for activities and places they might enjoy. Show them the house that you’ll be moving in to. If it’s larger, maybe they’ll be getting their own room. Take them to a museum or a zoo or the beach, depending on your new location. You know what your children enjoy so ensure them that there will be plenty to do in this new community for the family.
When the move starts to occur, allow your children to make decisions about their new living space. Maybe it’s picking out the paint color for their walls or allowing them to update their bedroom furniture. And if you haven’t selected a house yet, maybe you can take them along to some showings and make them part of the deciding factor.
Just because your family is transitioning to a new location doesn’t mean that you need to leave everything behind. If your child wants to keep their old friendships intact, help them. You can host a party with their friends and take photos to keep as a remembrance. Also, encourage them to write letters and plan trips back to their community so they can stay in touch.
A big move will always bring about fears of the unknown, but it can also be a very important time to bring your family together. Use these tips as a starting point to ease some of the common anxieties with your children.
And if you need help with the move itself, get in touch with our team for a free quote today.