Moving can be a stressful time and while you are busy searching for moving companies and stocking up on boxes from your local grocery store, your children may be left confused and upset. It is important that you do not allow the stresses of being someone who is relocate overshadow your role as a parent. It can be very upsetting when a child learns they are moving, especially if they have lived in the same home their entire life. They will be leaving what is familiar to them: their school, their home, their friends—always keep that in the back of your mind. With some additional consideration for your children, you can make the moving process smoother for the entire family.
The first hurdle you will face when moving is actually telling your children what is going to happen. TLC suggests having a family meeting but keeping it very casual. They suggest getting some take out and just talking with your family about why you need to move and what changes this means for the family as a whole. You should be comfortable expressing your emotions about the move, this will make your children more relaxed and willing to share their feelings. You can also put them at ease by sharing a story about the first time you moved. This is also a good time to give them ‘jobs’ or ways you will need them to help during the move, this will give them a sense of involvement and will give them a task they can focus on during the process.
Making the Choice of a Home a Family Decision
While you may be the one footing the bill for the new house you are going to buy, it will be your children’s home to. Try getting their input about what they would like in the house, this is especially important if they are older. Involving them in the process will help them to build an attachment to the home you eventually choose since they will feel included and as though their opinions played a large role in the creation of your new home.
Do Not Cut Out Their Old Life
When moving far away, it can be easy to just move past the life you were once living. This is especially true when it comes to keeping in contact with neighbors, friends, and other people you encountered on a regular basis. It is extremely difficult for a child to forget these bonds, and PBS suggests that promoting continued communication may be a way to combat these struggles. They suggest handing out envelopes with your new address to those who your child would still like to hear from and ask that they send a letter within a couple weeks of you moving. This will help with any feelings of homesickness and will also promote your child becoming a pen pal to their old friends.
One Step at a Time
When you are buried in a sea of boxes and moving trucks, it is natural to want everything to fall into place immediately. Unfortunately, children cannot fast-forward through the difficulties they may experience when moving and as a parent the best thing you can do for them is remain patient. The transition to your new house will not happen overnight, but with time it will really begin to feel like home. Changing scenery and living situations can be difficult, so be sure to choose the best moving company possible that can accommodate your every need.
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Stephen Craig is an avid guest blogger who has contributed to many online publications. Follow him @SCraigSEO.