Moving To A New Home
Make It Easier For The Kids
By Lily Morgan
Moving to a new home is a very big deal for children. Todayís society is more nomadic than it used to be 50 years ago. The days of a family unit that bought one home to live in forever are gone. Now, adults often travel to new cities to live. They may be moving because of employment, cost of living or personal preference of location. Divorce and separation play their part as well. No matter what the reasons of needing a new place to live, though, children are greatly affected by this change of environment. Making the move a little easier for kids to cope with is important, and here are some ideas to help:
Include children in visits. Uprooting a child from a place that is familiar and well known to a location completely foreign (even if it is a house just down the street) is a recipe for trouble. Bring children along to visits to new cities, to check out apartments or to houses on the market to help reduce the fear of the unknown. They will know what the place looks like and have an idea of the surrounding area when the move occurs.
Talk to children about their fears, concerns and worries. Never dismiss what a child might be worried about, even if itís a small issue or a non-existent one. Always address the concerns a child raises and do your best to reassure them through discussion. Itís frightening for a child to think that he or she will have no friends to play with. Even though adults know that friends donít take too long to make, children arenít mentally developed enough to believe friendship with others will happen.
Make sure to inform yourself on all the potential activities, clubs and groups a child can be involved in at the new location. Joining a group activity is a great way for children to get involved and strike up friendships with other people. They will have a distraction and something to enjoy right from the start of living in a new neighborhood.
Involve children in decorating their own room in the new home. If the time was nearing for new furniture, invite children into helping pick the pieces that will be in their room. If their furniture is in good condition and will be moved to the new home, consider adding a special piece, like a vanity set or a toy chest. Let kids choose the color scheme of the room; they can even help with the painting, too.
Children need to feel like they are part of the family. Even though they may not have the final say in the matter of where to live or which house to choose, including them in the decision is important. They will feel more comfortable and reassured that their voice matters. Try to make sure they are as prepared as possible for the move. Keep the discussions surrounding the move lighthearted and positive, bringing up benefits often while downplaying Ė but never ignoring Ė the downsides of leaving behind friends and a home the children knew well. Lastly, on the day of the move, do your best to keep stress levels low, smile often and take frequent breaks to give your kids a hug.
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