A Family move can be difficult for the whole family, kids especially. But, with these great ideas, it will help you help your kids with your next big move!
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Change is tough for any of us, and in our lives, we will go through a number of upheavals. This is amplified when we move to a new location, as not only have we had to deal with all the usual stresses of moving, such as packing boxes and managing the finances, but we also have to cope with unfamiliar surroundings and the many ways that can impact our lives.
Moving by yourself is difficult enough, but when you have a family in tow, life becomes even harder. Your kids may be excited about the move, but then again, they may be resentful. Especially if you are taking them further away from friends, and the school they have become used to. Young children, such as babies and toddlers will be able to adapt relatively quickly. But with school-age children, it might be more of a struggle. This, of course, will only add to your stress level.
While adapting to change may be difficult for you such as moving into a new job, finding ways to make new friends, or dealing with personal emotions these may be amplified within the younger members of your family. As you help your child cope with change it will make them stronger. So, how do you help your family cope with the stress of moving? It is possible to make things easier for your family and yourself as your family moves.
The first thing you should do is reduce your own stress in the moving process.
The less stressed and emotional you are, the easier it will be on your kids. As any parent knows, in times of stress, emotions are heightened. In these times we usually say and do things we regret later. So with that being said, get as much help as you can. Find friends and extended family members who can help you with the various jobs you take on. From packing boxes to getting your house ready to sell. Utilize as much help as possible. And then for legal matters, know that there are lawyers for first time home buyers and experienced buyers alike. They will provide you with the guidance you need for buying and selling your home. You have a million things you need to do while moving, but you don’t have to do them all yourself!
Get the Children Involved in the Moving Process.
During a move, kids don’t have much control as to what is going on around them. You are taking them away from the only life they may have known and uprooting them somewhere else. But by giving them some responsibility and decision-making, the transition can become smoother. So, involve them in how they would like to decorate their new bedroom. Ask them to help with some of the chores, such as packing their toys. Let them look on the internet to find fun family activities you can all do when you get there! Involve them so they take some ownership of what is going on in their lives.
Don’t Squash your Children’s Emotions.
Like you, kids will experience a whirlwind of emotions, from fear, anxiety, and sadness. This will also probably be combined with a bit of excitement, anticipation, and joy. One minute they may be happy and the next moment they will be sad. While you do need to look after your emotional health during moving, you need to take time to do the same for your children. When they come to you with a question, no matter how silly it sounds, answer them with a sensible and honest answer.
If your kids are super excited about the move, don’t burst their bubble because of the negative ways you are feeling. This can cause them to start feeling negative about the move. It will be a balancing act but finding ways to manage your feelings will be you be present for your children’s feelings and emotions.
Check-In with your Children from Time to Time.
It is important to check in with your children during a family move. This is especially the case if they don’t seem to be showing much emotion at all. Chances are, if they have noticed signs of stress and unhappiness within you, they may not want to be a burden. From time to time, ask them how they feel. Even if everything may be okay right now, you may suddenly see that they are feeling differently. Be prepared for this, and respond in as kind a way as possible.
Let Your Kids Enjoy Things They Will Miss Before the Family Move
During the final days of your stay in your old home, give your children the opportunity to spend time with those people they won’t be seeing for a while. This might include friends, neighbors, or extended family members. Let your kids spend time with each one when possible, or throw a farewell party to say goodbye.
Yes, there are ways like Facebook, Skype, and texting to stay connected, but it won’t be the same as seeing each other in person. Therefore a proper goodbye is best for your kids. While there will be laughs, there will also be tears, but such is life. Of course, you aren’t only saying goodbye to people, you will also be saying goodbye to the places you have created memories, includes leaving your home. There will be a grieving process for you and your children. While this may be reduced when the property looks less like home as you start packing things away. You can still ease feelings of grief in the way you all say goodbye to the house.
It’s Normal to Feel Different Emotions with a Family Move
As you move into the new home, there will be feelings of nervousness and excitement. To make everybody’s life easier, try and get help to unpack things quickly. Turning an unfamiliar place into something more recognizable will be key to settling in. This is especially useful for younger children struggling with the change.
While it is important to get settled it is also equally important to explore where your family has moved! So spend some time exploring. Give your children the opportunity to visit their new school before starting class. Take them around the local area and point out places of interest, and make time to meet your new neighbors.
Your family move may be tough at first, but by encouraging the positives about the move, you may all find something to like about this new chapter in your lives.
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!