When it comes to changes, kids can be pretty sensitive to them. Everyday routine is something that kids enjoy and they prefer knowing when’s the time to eat, where can they go play, and which are the boundaries. However, when the family decides to move somewhere, kids can feel a bit confused or scared. That’s because you’re taking them out of their comfort zone and into something completely unknown.
However, there’s a couple of things you can do prior to moving as well as once you get to the new address, which will help your kids with the transition.
Take a look at the 7 tips below to see how can you make moving less stressful for your kids. Let’s break it down together.
1. Be Open About it
The first mistake you might be thinking about making is to hide the fact that you’re moving from your child.
Kids can sense when something’s going on behind their backs, and they’re bound to find out sooner or later.
If you try pulling this off, you’ll make your kids feel:
Besides, the moving will seem like a far bigger tragedy to them. If you had to hide it, it must be something horrible, right?
Instead of keeping it a secret, sit down with your kids and talk to them openly. Let them know what’s happening.
Promise you’ll give them your full support and make sure the moving doesn’t affect them.
2. Point Out The Positive
Your kids need something positive to hold on to. Apart from you being enthusiastic about the change, you’ve got to give them something to look forward to.
Therefore, make a list of great things which will be available in the new neighborhood, city, or country.
Tell them about things such as:
- theme parks
- seaside and beaches
- sports fields
Make sure they anticipate the change with a positive attitude by using this type of positive associations.
3. Take Them on a Trip
Depending on how far you’re moving, this step might not be possible for you. For those who can make it happen, we strongly recommend it.
Take your kids on a tour of their new neighborhood.
Show them things such as:
- the new house or building
- the new school
- the new playground
Let them get to know these things before they move, so they could be more self-confident about fitting in.
4. Meet the Neighbors
Before you move or immediately after you do it, you need to start building social connections.
This is a great thing for both you and your child.
Go around the neighborhood and introduce yourself to the new neighbors. If some of them have kids, make sure you set up a play date for your kids.
This will help your kids:
- feel welcomed
- accept the change
- be happy about the moving
However, you mustn’t forget your kids’ old friends. If it’s possible, find a way to keep in touch with them by inviting them over or taking your child to see them.
This will further make things less painful and stressful.
When people experience a change on the inside, they sometimes like to show it on the outside.
Some people cut their hair, others buy new clothes, while some redecorate the interior of their house.
Your kids will be thrilled if you let them take part in the redesign of their new room. This project will keep their mind of off possible worries about moving and will keep them occupied with something positive.
Talk about and choose:
- new furniture
- new decorations
- new curtains
- new wall paint
Make sure they take an active part in the process of setting up their new room and you’ll have them smiling ear to ear.
6. Make New Rituals
A new beginning needs to bring as much positivity into your and your kids’ lives as possible.
Your new house or your new neighborhood will seem unfamiliar at the beginning, but soon you’ll turn it into something yours.
To make this easier, you and your kids can come up with new rituals and little secrets you share.
- every Wednesday you go to a local diner for pancakes
- you have your favorite bench at the park
- you always take the same road to school and back
This will make your kids feel more at home and will take away some of the stress from moving.
7. Host a Farewell Party
It’s always a good idea to have a party.
You can help your kids focus less on the moving away and more on the fun activities which are ahead of them.
So, schedule a day for your family’s farewell party and ask your kids for help to put it together.
Let them help with things such as:
- guest list (with their school friends included)
Allow for them to get focused on this project and anticipate it with great joy. The moving will seem like a lot less problem and more of a reason to celebrate.
Every child is different and they’ll handle the stress of moving away in different ways. Make sure you pay close attention to how they’re feeling and be there to help them with the transition.
Use the advice above to ensure your kids don’t feel stressed out about moving. Help them find the positive in the new situation and make sure you openly talk about everything that’s ahead of you. If you have some ideas of your own, share them with other parents. If you’re not sure about your writing skills, some professional writers might help you out.
Daniela McVicker is a psychologist and family counselor. She is also a freelance writer and a contributor to RatedbyStudents. Her passion is writing about leading a healthy family life and helping people enjoy their lives to the fullest.