Moving is more than the physical relocation from one place to another. It’s also the process of living behind familiarities. While adults may be able to make this adjustment easily, moving with kids can have a lasting emotional impact on children.
Relocating symbolizes a lack of control for children. It’s the uprooting of everything they know and love for something unknown. Ultimately, parents must take steps to make the transition easier for their kids.
Here are some mindful steps to consider to make moving with kids less traumatic.
8 Mindful Steps to Consider When Moving with Kids
Talk About The Move
Although children may not have decision-making power when it comes to when and where to live, moving with kids impacts their lives. As such, parents should find the appropriate time to talk about the move with their children.
Discuss why you’re moving, show them where the new place is, point out some of the perks of moving, and allow them to express themselves.
When you hear your children’s concerns about moving, you’re in a better position to make changes to ease the transition. It also shows your children that you do care about what they’re experiencing.
Share Your Feelings
Trying to put on a brave face about moving may seem like the best thing to do, but it could be teaching your children to hold in their feelings. As you talk to your children about relocating, don’t be afraid to express your emotions.
Point out the things you’re going to miss and discuss how you’re taking steps to move past that pain. When you open yourself up emotionally, you show your children that you too are nervous, but it will make moving with kids easier and you’ll get through it together.
Allow Them to Say Good-Bye
Packing up your things, loading the kids in the car, and moving to the next destination without proper closure can cause psychological issues for your children. You should never just up and leave if you’re going to be moving with kids.
When you share the news about the move, do your best to give your children the opportunity to say goodbye to the people and places they love, especially if you’re moving long-distance.
Schedule play dates for friends and host gatherings to socialize with family members. Encourage your children to get contact information so they can stay in touch once they’ve settled into the new place.
Taking photos, recording videos, and exchanging gifts is another way for children to say goodbye and find peace with moving.
Introduce Them to New Environments
A good way to ease the transition of moving with kids is by familiarizing them with the new environments they are moving to. This can help your children adjust to those new environments before your scheduled relocation date.
Take them to the new house or apartment and allow them to see their bedrooms, the backyard, and other perks they might appreciate. Once you’ve decided which school they’ll go to, take them for a tour so they can see the facilities, meet teachers, talk to students, and get familiar with the school.
The same is true for healthcare services. Kids develop a bond with their providers, especially if they’ve been seeing the same pediatricians and dentists for years. And moreover, if they have extended health needs and have lasting relationships with specialists.
Let’s say you’re moving with kids to the Chicago area to Oak Park or Plainfield. As you scout for Oak Park dentists or Plainfield doctors, allow your kids to search online with you or tag along for the consultation.
The visit will enable them to explore the medical office, get acquainted with staff, and build a relationship with medical experts. Ultimately, when they come for a visit, there won’t be any fears.
Create Schedules and Routines
After moving with kids, it’s imperative to develop a sense of normalcy right away. Having schedules and routines create structure and provide stability for kids.
Determine what time you have to be at work and the kids at school. Then, develop a morning, evening, and bedtime routine to ensure everyone arrives where they need to be in a timely fashion.
Enroll Them in Extracurricular Activities
Adjusting to a move is often easier for children when they have exciting things to look forward to. Do your due diligence and research extracurricular activities in your new neighborhood that appeal to your kids’ interests.
Whether it’s creative arts, sports, or math and science, there are plenty of activities to consider. You can start by talking to a school administrator to see what activities they offer.
There’s also the option to turn to community centers to learn about local sports teams and free or affordable activities for children.
Spend Quality Time Together
Moving with kids will unearth feelings in your children that they don’t know how to cope with or express. That’s why parents need to spend quality time with their kids.
You are the constant in their lives despite all the changes they’ve experienced. As you spend time in their presence doing things you enjoy, it cultivates a sense of comfort that helps them to adjust easier.
Give It Time
While you want nothing more than for your children to be happy, moving with kids is a life-altering change that takes time to get used to. It’s essential that you give your children the time and space they need to cope with their emotions.
All the moving tips and checklists in the world can’t prepare you for the emotional impact it has on your children. While the move may be beneficial or necessary, it causes children to feel out of control, anxious, stressed, and even depressed.
When moving with kids, parents are encouraged to pay attention to the emotional impact it can have on their children and utilize suggestions like those listed above to make the transition more manageable.