Whether due to a job transfer, or because of a job change, preparing for a move can be really stressful. Initially you have start making a checklist, everything needs to be sorted out including your budget. You need to plan everything at least two months in advance. We all have experienced a moving process one or several times in our lives, depending upon situations. When the move to other country or other city involve kids too, relocating can be a traumatic experience for them. Depending upon their age, they can be confused, sad, and feeling a little lost if they are moving far away. That’s why it is essential that you know how to prepare your kids for long distance move.
How to prepare kids for long distance move?
Kids usually get used to their environment, friends, and school. So, it is quite essential to know how to approach them and talk about the move. Of course, if they are toddlers, infants, babies, or pre-school kids they will not have any problem. However, the real challenge is to convince kids, if they school-going kids and are teenagers, they may find it strenuous and have problems accepting the fact that they will have to change and adjust to the new environment.
Most often, toddlers mourn the loss of their room and the house they’ve always lived in. School-going children usually mourn the loss of their friends and their school. Whereas, teenagers, besides mourning all of the above, are likely to get angry at their parents for a major life change that is beyond their control.
Notwithstanding, all the mourning, parents have to be willing to allow their kids some time to grieve. So, you have to be super patient with your kids. Subsequently life will normalize again, but you can't expect it to happen overnight. Here is how to help your kids cope with the move:
How to help your kids cope
First thing first, start with giving your kids information about the move. Make sure that you answer any of their questions and are completely honest with them.
Be respectful to their opinion and reactions because moving and changing their environment may look scary to them. However, ask about their opinion on the move and do involve them in searching for the new home. Also, take them with you if you are going to visit your new home or explore the neighborhood.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the changes they’re going through. Simply telling them that "everything will work out" isn't going to work.
If you have teenagers, ask them to express their feelings about the move, encourage them to express their fears and concerns related to move. If they are too young to verbalize their thoughts, ask them their feelings.
Let your kids do the talking, they may just blabber things or spit out their anger on this big decision, where they find themselves helpless. No worries, make up your mind and be a good listener.
Make sure you are not denying your children’s feelings, in whatever you are doing. As, that will only increase their anger towards you and sense of isolation and frustration by large.
Well, you don’t have to essentially take all the blames and justify the move to your kids. Basically, all these things take time and as parents it’s your duty to give your kids enough time to accept the reality. Understand, it’s not up to you to solve all their problems.
Also, remember that it is normal for some children to experience a temporary regression in behavior after a move, especially in case of school-aged kids they may even get a drop in their grades. In such a situation, you don’t have to panic. All you need to do is give them the time and space they need to adjust to the new situation.
Most importantly, if you’re making the move during the summer months, make sure you help your kids find social outlets in your new community prior to the beginning of their school. Also, you can help them get plugged into a church group, a youth organization or a sports league depending upon their area of interest, as soon as possible.