By Stephanie Lynch
Moving sucks. Packing up your stuff, saying goodbye to the people you love and leaving behind a place you're comfortable in is difficult. Even the most well-rounded adults struggle with moving to a new place. For a child, moving can be even tougher.
As a parent, you want what's best for your little ones. Maybe you're moving because your company offered you a better position. Maybe you want to live in a safer city. Maybe your child needs to go to a special school or be closer to a big hospital. The reasons for a move are endless, but even the best reasons can be painful for children.
Chances are that your child views moving as problematic. He or she might worry about losing friends and having to make new ones. Your child might feel scared that everyone will forget about him. Your youngster might worry that she'll never fit in again. These concerns are all valid. As a parent, your job is to help your child work through these concerns and focus on the positive aspects of moving. Here's how.
Talk With Your Child
Believe it or not, many parents are afraid to simply talk with their kids about moving. You might feel like your child understands the reasons for the move or that your little one should just "get over it." You might feel like there's nothing to say. You might not know what to say.
When you move to a new place, your child is going to experience a lot of changes. Whether your little one is two or 12, he or she may experience a number of different emotions. Your child might feel scared, excited, nervous or happy. He or she might even feel all of these things!
It's a good idea to sit down and chat with your child about the move. Answer any questions your child has. Share how you're feeling. Ask how you child is feeling. Remember that while you might feel comfortable with the move, your child's entire world is changing and he or she might feel helpless. Try to be sympathetic to this.
Start a Blog Together
If you and your child have never blogged together, you're missing out! Creating a family blog provides a safe, comfortable way to talk with your child about emotions and moving. If you share what you're feeling, chances are that your child will open up, as well. Sometimes talking face-to-face can be difficult for kids, which is why blogging is a fun way to talk.
You can choose to create a private blog that only the two of you know about or you can open it up to friends and relatives. If you choose to share your blog with friends, your child may find this provides an easy way to keep in touch with friends from your current city.
Explore Your New City
When you move to a new city, you'll probably be very busy at first. Once you begin to settle in to your new house and establish a routine, it's important that you take time to explore your city. Try to avoid just going to work and school. Instead, plan fun outings you can enjoy with your kids.
One of the best ways to discover new activities in your area is to join online groups. Consider joining a Facebook or Meet Up group that will help you connect with other people in your area. Chances are that you can find quite a few inexpensive activities your kids will enjoy. By exploring your new city and building new relationships, you'll help your child feel more comfortable in your new place.
Talk About Your Previous Home
Many parents are hesitant to talk about their prior home. After all, you've moved. Won't talking about your old house make your child feel sad? In reality, the opposite is true. When you avoid talking about your old house, your child might feel like you've forgotten about it. This can be incredibly frustrating for a child.
Make an effort to bring up your old house when you chat with your child. Even if you say, "I'm craving pizza. Remember that pizza place we used to go to? Maybe we can find a similar place here," you'll be reminding your child that you haven't forgotten your old life together.
No matter how old your child is, moving can be a difficult experience. With a bit of planning and lot of hard work, you'll be able to help your child make it through moving as stress-free as possible.
About the Author:
Stephanie Lynch resides in Gilbert, Arizona, with her two children and husband. She is the co-founder of howmuchisit.org, a website dedicated to helping consumers find out what unknown things cost in life.