Helping Your Children Relocate
You may be looking at your move as an exciting experience with new places to explore and new challenges ahead.
But if you look at this relocation through the eyes of your children, it’s an experience that can be very traumatic. They will be leaving their friends, their school, their clubs and sports and all that is familiar. And they will often blame you for disrupting their lives.
That’s why it’s very important for parents, from day one, to take their children’s concerns into consideration. Those who do, usually have far more successful moves.
Here are some ways parents can ease moving stress for kids:
- Take an upbeat approach to the "adventure of moving."
- Involve your children in relocation planning.
- Take kids to visit the new city in advance if you can. If that is not possible, bring pictures and videos of the new city, school, neighborhood, and of the new home.
- When you arrive to your new home, take time out from unpacking to have some family fun exploring your new town.
Relocating Your PreschoolerTypically, preschoolers adjust far more quickly to new surroundings than older children, so long as their parents are nearby. Their biggest fears at this stage are being separated from parents or being “left behind.”
You can deal with these fears by setting up their room in the new home as quickly as possible and by maintaining their daily schedules.
Relocation and your Elementary School-Age ChildKids in elementary school mostly worry about how their daily routines will change after a move. Will they have to give up activities like soccer or ballet? Will they like their new teacher? Will they be able to make new friends?
A good way to ease the transition is by planning a moving/goodbye party for your elementary school-age kids then stage a new home welcome celebration. Also be sure to ask your real estate relocation specialist for information about extracurricular activities for kids that can help them jump in and feel more at home socially.
Relocating with TeenagersThere is no easy way around this: teenagers simply hate to move. Their friends are the center of their world and “fitting in” is their greatest concern.
That is why moving teenagers calls for a great deal of understanding and patience on the part of parents. You must try and stay positive but also be realistic about the pushback you will get. Try and be tolerant of your teenagers’ anger and resistance because it is perfectly normal. Support them by encouraging them to stay in touch with old friends via telephone, social media and email even while you help them get used to their new surroundings. Most important is this: keep communication channels open between you and your teens.