You’re moving! And you’ve made it through the process of understanding what you’re leaving behind and why you need to move. Now it’s time to help your kids do the same.
Every child can react differently when telling them that the family will be moving to a different home. Before you even tell your child, try to understand their point of view, and it will help you to be able to handle any reaction they could have.
So, what could moving mean to your child, and what can you do to help them through it?
What moving means to your child: Leaving their school friends forever.
As a kid, you have no control over the majority of your time. Even play time is designated. So, when parents tell them that they're moving far away from their friends, it's hard for kids to imagine finding time to see them when they won't be seeing them every day at school.
You know ways that they can stay in touch, so make your child a skype name (if they don’t already have one), make them an email, take down the emails to best reach their friends, take down phone numbers and compile them into a book your child can have with them. Just in case they lose the book, make sure to have an word doc saved, as well.
What moving means to your child: Leaving their home and their room.
Kids have formed a bond with their little corner of the world, aka their bedroom. A lot of memories have been created there, and now they’re being forced to leave one of the few places where they have felt comfortable and safe.
What can you do? Remind them that their room was just a bunch of drywall, wood, and explain what really makes their room is that they are inside it and can keep all of their special items in it. Assuring them that their room is actually coming with them and they aren’t completely leaving it behind can help children cope with leaving their special space behind.
What moving means to your child: Leaving their familiar environment.
Do you remember you favorite park when you were a kid? Your kids are living that moment of their lives right now. Moving to a new place can be scary to kids because they only know the part of the world that you’ve introduced to them.
Make a list of places your child enjoys and where they have their favorite memories. Make trips to those places and take pictures of them there so they can look at them whenever they miss their favorite spots. Remind them that they aren’t losing these special spots, they are just moving to another place and will find even more places they can call their own. If you have the time and ability, try to make a trip to fun places around your new home that your children can look forward to hanging out.
With these tips, you'll be ready to talk to your child about moving and be prepared for any reaction they might have.