It’s hard to convey the importance and benefit of moving to your children.
All they’re seeing is moving away from friends and the dread going to a new school. One day they’ll get the big picture but there are plenty of things you can do to help them cope in the meantime.
At a glance, I’d like to share tips on:
· Dealing with stress before the move
· Helping them cope after the move
I should know, having moved about a dozen times during my childhood, some locations for just a few months at a time. It was tough at times but things worked out. Here’s what I know and what my parents said (and did) to make these transitions easier.
Dealing with the Stress of a Move
The shifting around and packing can lead to a twinge of chaos. Worse yet is the danger of trying to move heavy objects when the kids are romping and rolling. Once on the road, you must keep full attention which is a little difficult if the kids aren’t used to long-distance moving. Everyone gets stressed.
Here’s what made moves easier:
1. Make a game out of cleaning, organizing, and packing a room
2. Try to donate or throw out any items you don’t plan to bring
3. Clear the walkways, empty the dressers, bag the clothes, and tape the cords to the units
4. Use tools like a dolly to make moving heavy items easier
5. Pack the heavy stuff closer to the cab
6. Organize an emergency travel kit with all the immediate necessities
7. Pace yourself, take frequent pit stops and stay vigilant when driving
Stress is further reduced if you plan and use a service like North American Van Lines for the heavy lifting and transportation of your stuff. This is also an optimal time to teach your children car safety so they’re less likely to bounce around, cause distractions, and fight with one another during the trip.
The biggest help with dealing with the stress is to make it an adventure – a game. Tell and commit to exploring new places, events, and social gatherings at the new location. Tell them stories about your move and the positive parts about it.
Coping with New Places and People
An adult can quickly adapt to a new city but it’s somewhat difficult for a child. Mainly because they are starting a fresh social circle and feel alienated at school. They’ll adapt in time; you can encourage this by encouraging social behaviors and activities.
When you’re in the new place:
· Spend more time doing family activities such as game nights, crafting, or movie-watching.
· Get out and explore the neighborhood and go one more block each day.
· Make a wish-list of things to do and try to check off one each week.
Help them at school:
· Encourage them to join school clubs and after-school activities.
· Help them stay connected with old friends by taking the occasional trip back.
· Host a party to invite neighbors and budding friends they’re making at school.
Adjustments will take time but they’re young and energetic. They’ll develop friends in no time – just if they’re not confining themselves to their room. Bring them along and show them the excitement and wonders that are to be had.
One Day They’ll Understand
It’ll be tough on them to wave goodbye to friends they may never see again. Social encouragement and serious talks about goals and family progress will help them adjust.
I must highly recommend giving them the resources for their creative outlets will ease the transition – this lets them find something they love which often becomes the magnet when attracting new friends.
Remember, you’re adjusting too so work together to make this new destination one that’s full of joy and memorable experiences!