Moving to a new home is often an exciting event for a family as they prepare for new opportunities and experiences in their new community. However, in the midst of all the packing and preparations, it can quickly become stressful. This is especially true for children, as they often struggle with saying goodbye to their friends while also attempting to adjust to the new changes that are occurring in their life.
The transition to a new home can be made easier by following a few simple ideas that will help children to express their feelings while also taking actions that will help them to feel more in control of their new situation.
Talk About the Move
One of the most important things that can be done to help a child to feel more secure about their move is to allow them to share their thoughts and have their questions answered. In families with several children, be prepared for varying reactions. Because age plays a large factor in how children will react to a move, it is important to speak with each child individually. Young children might be so swept up in the excitement that they might not be able to fully voice their concerns. Older children and teenagers might be resentful of having to leave behind their social life. Let each child voice their concerns and respond to them openly and honestly.
Throw a Goodbye Party
Even children who are excited about moving will still struggle with leaving behind their friends and neighbors. Prepare a list of people that they would like to say goodbye to, and be sure to make a point of seeing each one. A goodbye party is a great way to bring these people together, and generate excitement for the move. Be sure to gather phone numbers and addresses so that children can keep in touch after moving to their new home.
Preserve Their Memories
Prepare a scrapbook or a memory board containing pictures of friends and cherished events. Whether it is fancy or simple, it is important that the child be as involved as possible when putting their memory project together. This can give a child something to place in their new room that will remind them of home when they begin to miss their old friends.
Explore Their New Home
Finding out more about their new community will help children to feel less nervous and more excited about the move. Make sure to check out places that will be important to them, such as schools and local parks. Discuss the layout of the home, and draw a design of how they will decorate their room. If it is possible to visit the new home in person, then do so. If not, then try a virtual tour of the city online.
Pack a Special Box
Moving day will be hectic and many children might feel lost as the adults around them are busy with final preparations. Allow the child to prepare a box that is stocked with their favorite toys. Along with the comfort items, be sure to also include necessities such as a change of clothes and a toothbrush. Having what they need to feel better close at hand will help children to feel more confident about a big family move.
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