Relocating… With Children
It’s no deep dark secret that relocation is stressful. As the one relocating, you have to worry about finding a new home, getting acclimated to your new surroundings and getting used to a new job in a sense. Your significant other may even have to worry about finding new employment in your new city.
There are obvious concerns moving forward when kids are involved. Schools, safety of area and at times, daycare centers. Trying to figure all of that out can be overwhelming in your search of a home. One of the most important things to keep in mind is how your kids feel about the big move. Depending on the age, their fears and anxieties can range from being the new kid, to not having a sense of belonging. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Their biggest fears
Understandably, there are many things going through a child’s head when moving to a new place. Let them feel as though they have some sort of say in the matter, even though they may not. Involve them in any aspect of moving as possible. Help them put together the moving boxes, take them to see the new home ahead of time, or let them choose the paint color in their new bedroom. They may mostly be nervous about being the new kid. There are things to do to get them excited about going to school! When it comes time to present in front of the class, help them prepare a fun presentation about their home state or city! Getting them involved in sports, clubs or even events at their local library will allow them to meet kids their age and make new friends.
What they miss the most
Most likely, the house they lived in is going to be the number one thing they will miss…at first. Their sense of familiarity will shift into adjusting to a new environment. Other things they will miss, according to ExpatChild, are their friends, family, favorite TV shows, favorite or familiar places to go, their normal day to day activities that may change and the feeling of belonging. Look into subscribing to a TV service on your computer that allows them to watch their favorite shows that may not air in your new city. Have family and friends come visit as much as possible, or ask them to send care packages.
How to help them remember their home, and move on
Follow the local news and stay updated on appropriate information you can share with them. Take them on a shopping adventure and let them pick out a new toy they can associate with their new city. Be open when they want to talk about “home” and know that their definition will eventually change. They will adjust. Help them compose letters to their friends and include fun new photos of them. The idea of having pen pals is very exciting!