There’s perhaps no bigger disruption to a child’s routine than moving to a new home. That’s especially true for children living with disabilities, who have additional challenges on top of the usual emotional distress that can come with moving. For children with disabilities, who depend on the familiar even more and may be more vulnerable, changing their familiar surroundings can be extra frightening.
Talk About It
It’s crucial for all parents to make their children’s feelings part of the process of moving into a new home. Being able to sit down and talk about the reason for the move and how the child feels about it can make the entire process much easier on both parties.
Involve Your Kids Early On
For example, before the move, it can be very beneficial to involve your kids in the planning process as early as possible. Allowing your kids to choose the appearance of their new bedrooms or the paint color for their bathroom gives them a feeling of control. What’s more, your children get a chance to begin thinking about the move early in the process and may even get excited about it. Some parents may believe that withholding information about the move for a long time will lessen the shock. Yet keeping it a secret can make the anxiety your kids may experience on moving day worse and could ultimately damage your relationship with them.
Explore the New Neighborhood Together
After your family is successfully moved into the new home, it’s important to make a family effort to explore the new neighborhood together. This can help them become more familiar with their surroundings as well as find their new favorite places.
Continue With Family Routines
No matter what, make a conscious effort to continue family routines and traditions you may have before the. Whether it’s a family game night, a special dinner on a particular night of the week, or a bedtime routine, keeping some kind of familiarity in your kids’ lives during a big life event such as moving can be powerful for them. The following guide details some of the most important ways you can help your children cope with the emotional impact of moving.
Author bio: Kate Houston is Director of Client Services at Ward North American. She attended Minot State University and has more than 25 years of experience in the transportation and relocation industry.