Moving as an adult can be nerve-wracking, stressful, and also exciting. As a child, moving can be downright terrifying. Much of a child’s identity comes from their surroundings. This means that when a child is uprooted and moved to a new location, it can be very hard for them to process the situation. There are several solutions to try that can help your children have an easier time making this adjustment.
Talk to Your Kids Beforehand
Mental preparation is key. The idea of moving is going to be a shock, but the longer your child has to think before the move, the better. This involves more than just telling them the moving date. Sit down with your child and explain the reasons for the move. Help them understand how this will benefit the whole family.
Your child may be worried about losing their friends or being lonely. Talk to them about how they can prepare to say goodbye to their old friends. Teach them how they can make new friends. Go through every detail of the changes they should expect and help them make plans so this doesn’t seem as scary of a process.
Get Your Kids Settled First
When you get to your new home, start with the kid’s rooms first. Don’t just leave them with a pile of boxes to unpack by themselves. Instead, help them set up their room the way they want it. Make sure they’re comfortable and able to enjoy themselves. This will give them a place to play and stay out of the way during the rest of the unpacking process. When your kids see how nice their new rooms are, you’ll be surprised at how their moods brighten.
Tour the Neighborhood
After your kids rooms are put together, take a break and explore the neighborhood together. By driving around and learning the area, your children will become more at ease with their new world. This is also an important safety precaution. These tours can help prevent your children from getting lost when they go out on their own.
If you have small children, take this time to set some ground rules. It’s a good idea to mark boundaries that they can’t pass without permission. This way, they won’t end up straying too far from home when they’re out with newly made friends. Be sure to point out any busy streets that could potentially be dangerous.
Get a Puppy
A new addition to your family can be a great way to get your kids settled. A puppy can be a new friend that gives your children the unconditional love that they desperately need in an uncertain time. Getting a new puppy is a big decision, and you need to make sure your kids will be able to handle the responsibility. Before adopting a new furry friend, you should research the needs of different puppy breeds. Identify one that you think that your kids can handle. If you aren’t sure that your kids are prepared, ask a neighbor if your kids can practice caring for one of their dogs. The responsibility that comes along with dog care can be a great way to keep your child’s mind happy and occupied.
You want your children to quickly associate positive feelings and experiences with their new home. A great way to do that is with frequent family outings. You can use the first one as a reward for getting everything unpacked. Try going to family fun centers to play games, check out the local parks, and go on exploration hikes. The increased time with family will help your child feel less lonely. Just be sure to include your child in the activity planning. The activities won’t help much if your children participate begrudgingly.
Sign Up for Extracurriculars
Extracurricular activities can benefit a child after a move in many ways. First, it keeps them busy. A busy child doesn’t have an opportunity to be sad during this adjustment period. Second, they can learn new skills. Subconsciously, the child will be connecting their improved capacity to their new home. This will help them gain a more positive outlook on their new life. Third, it provides social interaction. Sport teams, dance classes, and other extracurricular activities will help your child to interact with new children and form friendships. If you notice the activity they’re involved in doesn’t seem like a good fit, don’t force them to continue an activity they don’t enjoy..
Help Them Find New Friends
Children seem to have an easier time making friends than adults sometimes. When a child is alone without any friends, that first friend can be very difficult to find. You can help them out by setting your children up on play dates. Get to know the families in your neighborhood. Invite families with children of the same age over to your home for dinner or a game night. This can be a great opportunity for your child to get to know someone that they can go play with on a future day. After they have that first friend, they’ll be able to make more friends through normal interactions.
It is important to realize that some of your children may take more time to adjust than others.. They may resent the move and not be too happy with you. This can be a major test of your patience as you deal with their antics. It’s important to realize that they are really having a hard time. They are overwhelmed and may feel insecure. You can’t force them to enjoy the situation, the more you try, the more they will resist. The best thing you can do is be patient. Really listen to your child’s feelings and worries. By listening patiently, you’ll find that they’ll start to open up more and more. As they do, you’ll learn more about how you can be a better help to them.
Life after a move is going to a whirlwind, and there really isn’t much you can do to change that. However, what you can change is your perspective. As you have a healthy perspective, your children will feed off your positivity. Face the move as an exciting new adventure where your family sets off together to explore the unknown.
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