By Anton Constantinou
Moving home can be a stressful time for children. Kids get very attached to their surroundings, and the prospect of a new home may seem like the scariest thing in the world.
As a parent, there are various steps you can take to make your relocation more family-friendly. Here are seven tips for relocating with children.
Talk to your children in advance
Prepare your children for what’s to come by having a heart to heart talk with them. Tell them everything they need to know about the move as early as possible to avoid any shock surprises later down the line. Children are smart and overhear conversations, so don’t let them find out the wrong way.
Be positive about the move
Sure, relocating can be overwhelming but don’t let your children see that. Show them how excited you are about it by telling them how fun it will be. Involve them in the process as much as possible and answer any questions they may have like “How will I stay in contact with my friends?” The more connected they feel to the move, the less likely they are to worry about it.
Say goodbye properly
Children have a tough time saying goodbye, and may be unwilling to adjust initially. Do the sensitive thing and organise a small leavers’ party with their close friends. Children love keepsakes, so take lots of photos on the day and add them to a scrapbook. That way, they’ll be able to take their memories with them.
Tell your children that you’re taking them on an adventure. Convince them that you’re travelling to a faraway, magical kingdom, and encourage them to dress up for the move. A little make-believe goes a long when relocating with children.
With every move comes a certain level of disruption. However hectic things might get, be consistent with your children. Make sure the same rules and expectations apply of them like when to go to bed and when to eat dinner. It’s important that you keep some structure in their life.
Make the new home a familiar space
Help your children feel comfortable in their surroundings by filling the new home with lots of recognisable items. Bring photos and decorations from your old home and arrange them in a similar fashion to before. Transitional objects like a favourite a toy are also great, and offer an added level of comfort and security.
Educate your children about their new hometown
Moving home provides an excellent opportunity for learning. Show your children what their new hometown has to offer by teaching them lots of facts about the place like when it was founded, and what it’s famous for it. If you’re moving abroad, take time to bring your children up the speed with the local language, and, if necessary, invest in lessons.