When a family moves into a new home, it can be a major transition. Whether that home is across town or across the country, there are many changes that a family must get used to including new neighbors, stores, communities, and, especially, schools. While adults are usually very good about changing and being able to adjust, children often have difficulty in this capacity. With younger children, it can be even more problematic. That is why we have compiled a list of the different things that you can do to ease your children into moving to a new home (http://www.handinhandparenting.org/article/ease-the-transition-of-moving-to-a-new-home/ ). These are suggestions that can help reduce a lot of headaches in your household.
Talk to someone (and also listen)
Many times, the anxiety that adults fill can subconsciously spill over into the feelings and emotions of our children. That is why it is important for you to have a sounding board. If you are feeling nervous or anxious about the move, then your children will definitely pick up on this. Talk to someone, and then also talk to your children. Let them share with you any fears they may have about the move and the things that they will miss about the old home. Also, be sure to help them celebrate the old so that they may be excited about the new.
Be open, honest and positive
When you talk to your children, you should also be sure to be as open and honest as possible. This will not just involve a one-time sit down. Your child will probably come at you each day with a new question about the move. Answer their questions fully. Don’t make “pie-in-the-sky” promises that aren’t realistic. At the same time, don’t be pessimistic or negative about the move. Try to paint it in terms of a positive, warm experience. Also, your child may question their place in the world that you have already built together. Be sure to comfort them with extra love and support as you go along.
Give your children their own special time
If you’ve ever moved before, you know that it isn’t just about the moving day. For the days and weeks leading up to the move, you will be busy beyond belief, taking care of packing, utilities, and coordinating. A lot of times, children can get lost in the shuffle of those moves and feel like they are being forgotten. This can make them resentful toward the move because it is taking “mommy and daddy” away from them. That’s why it is important to set aside as much time as possible during your day to just focus on your children. Put away the packing boxes and tape and just be with your children. This may mean it takes longer to pack, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Say hello and good-bye
It is important that your child have a positive first experience in their new home. To achieve this, arrange a visit early on so they can see the nice home that they’re moving to. If possible, show them what will be their new room and talk with them about ways to decorate it and make it special for them. Also, look around the neighborhood so that they know about fun and inviting places to go and things to do such as parks and recreation centers. In addition to seeing your new home, also make plans to say good-bye. Have a big final meal at your old home. Encourage your child to share his or her favorite memories. Be sure to get lots of pictures so that you will have memories forever.
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