Your home is a place of stability and peace for you and if you have children, it can be a grounding force in their lives. Relocating to a new community (or even a new block) can be a very challenging, and exciting, event for you and for them. We have made a few moves with our kids and it is often a chaotic time, especially if the move involves a new city or country!
As friends and schools are left behind, regular landmarks and teams are changed, and although it can be an exciting time, the longing for familiarity of home is likely to have lasting impact on your children’s lives.
Developing moments of joy despite the relocation confusion is important and several methods can help in calming your child’s sense of upheaval.
Create a new start in your new community and in your home by:
Constructing a positive experience from your move. Teach your children that you do understand how hard it is to leave friends and familiar places, and that you too may be going through similar experiences. However point out the good that will come by finding exciting things to do in your new neighborhood. Involve them in planning family activities, and ideas for the decorating of your home.Making them feel at home. Recognize that the move is a collective effort and allow them to have some input on qualities of your new home. Even if it is a color they wish to help choose for a wall, or decorative accent/theme.Explore your new community “virtually” or in-person first. Creating some excitement by researching the area where you will move always makes relocation easier, for every member of the household.Schools are important – figure out how your move will impact your children’s education and talk to them about it. Consider commute or carpooling needs, changes in systems (junior high vs. middle school), and try to find friends who attend the same schools quickly by getting involved early in local groups. Also, don’t forget to call ahead and hand-carry any needed records, test scores, and immunizations so school enrollment goes smoothly.Routine is key. Despite the fact that the move of your home has resulted in major change, it’s possible to keep some things the same. Control what you can in those first weeks of transition. For example eat at least one family meal together, get their favorite cereals or favorite clothing, sports or instrument practice, and help your child maintain a personal schedule to make transition easier.Be patient and listen. Complaints and adjustments are going to happen with any major adjustment, and the move of your home definitely qualifies! Keep that in mind and cut your kids some slack by making them feel heard, and you’ll find that your transition will be easier.