Your home is a place of stability and peace for you and if you have children, it can be a grounding force in their lives. Relocating to a new community (or even a new block) can be a very challenging, though exciting, event for you and for them.
As friends and schools are left behind, regular landmarks and teams are changed, and even wallpaper is replaced, the longing for home, your home, can be very real and lead to lasting impact on your children’s lives.
Developing happiness despite the relocation confusion and upset is important and several methods can help in calming your child’s sense of upheaval.
Create a new start in your new community and in your home by:
- Constructing a positive experience from your move. Teach your children that change is inevitable but that good can come by finding exciting things to do in your new town, involving them in planning activities, and the decorating of your home.
- Making them feel at home. Recognize that the move is a collective effort and honor and value your children by allowing them to have some input on qualities of your new home.
- Explore your new community “virtually” or in-person first. Creating some excitement by researching the area where you will move always makes relocation easier, for every member of the household.
- Schools are important – figure out how your move will impact your children’s education and talk to them about it. Consider commute or carpooling needs, changes in systems (junior high vs. middle school), and try to find friends who attend the same schools quickly by getting involved early in local groups. Also, don’t forget to call ahead and hand-carry any needed records, test scores, and immunizations so school enrollment goes smoothly.
- Routine is key. Despite the fact that the move of your home has resulted in major change, it’s possible to keep some things the same. Control what you can in those first weeks of transition, from food and favorite cereals to clothing and sports or instrument practice, and help your child maintain a personal schedule to make transition easier.
- Be patient and listen. Complaints and adjustments are going to happen with any major adjustment, and the move of your home definitely qualifies! Keep that in mind and cut your kids some slack when you can, and you’ll find that your transition will be easier.
My experience is that younger children, say 12 and under, handle moves relatively easy and settle into the new location quickly. The older child has some difficulty. What has been your experience? Let us know!