If you ever relocated to a new city or state as a child, you might remember how painful it was. Leaving everything and every one you know behind is scary, and even more so for children. There’s so many unknowns: will they like their new home? Will they fit in and make new friends?
As a parent, there’s several things you can do to help prepare your child(ren) for a move and make the transition easier for them to deal with. Here are just a few to get you started.
Tell your kids about the move as soon as you know it’s going to happen. They need time to deal with such a big change, and springing it on them last minute is not the best way to go about it. The further in advance they know about it, the better. Be sure they know why they’re moving: providing them with a reason can make the move feel less random and unexpected in their eyes.
Let your kids help plan the move. If you involve your children in the planning process, they will feel like they’re a part of it, and not just being forced into it. A great example is to let them decide what colors they would like to paint their new room. Take them to their new home if possible, or show them pictures of the home and their bedroom so they can start preparing. Show them on a map where their new home will be, and show them landmarks and entertainment options that will be in the same vicinity as your new home.
Keep some things the same. Children enjoy consistency, it helps them feel secure. While the idea of nice new furniture might sound great, many children are often connected to their current furniture, and forcing them to get rid of it might make the move more difficult. However, some children might jump at the chance for a new bed, so you might consider asking them which they prefer (if you can fit new furniture into your budget, we know that’s easier said than done!). If they would like new furniture, you can find several options to present to them, almost as a reward for handling the move so well.
What it all comes down to is the fact that communication is crucial. By keeping your kids informed and involved, they are more likely to warm up to the idea. Don’t spring it on them last-minute, and be sure they can get involved to help ease the pain.