As a follow up to the summary list we published earlier on “moving with children”, we will be offering a series of short articles related to this very topic. We encourage you to read these ” snippets” and hope they will help make your move smooth and stress free for your family.
Bear in mind that whatever the reasons behind it, moving represents a major change for everyone in the family. In addition to the overall turmoil involved, general fatigue and uncertainty can eventually cause emotions to run high and tempers to run short. Preparing early in the process will help your entire family better handle the stress that moving can create.
Talking with your children about the move well in advance should be a top priority for every parent. Explain to each child at his or her own level of understanding why you are moving, what the new home will be like, and how each of them can contribute to the success of the family’s relocation. Engaging them in as much of the planning as you feel is appropriate can also be helpful in keeping things positive.
Encourage them to express whatever feelings they have regarding the subject. Accept their attitudes, even if they are negative, and discuss your own feelings with them as well. If you as a parent view the changes as the fulfillment of some hope or ambition, the attitude you will transmit to those around you, especially your children, will be a happy, positive one. You can meet the inconvenience of relocating with an optimistic outlook and a fresh start.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the move is associated with disappointment or grief, your children may be unintentionally left to emotionally fend for themselves in a situation they may not fully understand. Acknowledge that both you and your children will probably have mixed feelings about leaving, no matter how nice your new situation promises to be. Keep the discussion open for as long as is necessary to help everyone with the upcoming transition.
Understand in either scenario, that communication is helpful and vital for your children to feel safe in a time of upheaval to their familiar surroundings.
Stay tuned for the next segment of the series “Moving with Children”.