Is Your Child Ready For The Big Move?
As it is, change is already scary enough for adults. When it’s a child undergoing a change, it can feel a lot bigger. Their whole world can suddenly flip upside down. Then as a parent, you’re feeling that, and suddenly you’re experiencing all the emotions. One of the biggest upheavals a kid can go through is moving to a new area. How do you know if they’re ready and how do you make sure that you’re able to handle it as a family?
Plenty of prep
When you’re dealing with changes, it’s important that your children know full and well what’s coming up. This is the phase where you get to do the most work in shaping their conceptions of how things are going to be. While organizing things, do try to make time to just have some normal family life with them. Don’t let it start getting in the way of their routine too much already. Any breaks in that routine should be for the positive. For instance, you could take them to the park for a visit and let them experience their new locale and see the beauty of it and the fun to be had in the new home. You can even make it an adventure for them by, for instance, making sure they know it’s something to be celebrated. You can plant a big countdown in the kitchen where every morning they help you count down the next day to the big move. Ritualize the positivity of the change and they will see it as positive.
Ripping off the band-aid
All that hard work can be done in by a moving day that is hectic, stressful, and simply an unpleasant experience for the children. So, obviously, you need the day to be a stress-free for them as possible. If you can’t guarantee that, it might be a good idea to have them stay at a relative’s for most of the heavy lifting and shoving. But by coordinating with local moving services early and organizing as much as possible, you can reduce the amount of time, money, and worry it takes to get everything from one house to the other. Pack boxes and mark them depending on what room they’re going to. Put the big objects closer to the door so that they’re shifted out more easily rather than having to take time to maneuver them.. You want it to go by as quickly as possible. But don’t forget to say goodbye to the old home.
Finding status quo
The acclimation you helped them with before the move should already help them form some idea of what life at the new home is going to be like. But now it’s time to find your new normal. Help them stay in touch with the old community while getting involved with the new one. Join reading clubs or take them to their new play areas regularly. But don’t forget to let them express their feelings and thoughts. Don’t try and minimize them, help them process them.
The truth is that you will never really know how a move is going to change your child’s life and their conceptions of their life. All you can do is be there for them through it all from beginning to end.