Moving as a family is both an adventure and a challenge for parents and children alike. Adults are more equipped to handle life changes better compared to children and teenagers. Thus, parents will want to support their children in this transition period and present hem with wonderful opportunities for them to feel more comfortable in the new environment.
Children are more aware of their surroundings than we think. For this reason, you should always communicate with your kids. Involving your children in the moving process makes them more comfortable and confident. For example, you can engage them in packing as you wait for the movers to come. If you haven’t found a moving company it’s a good idea to find a good company in your area. For instance, if you live in Connecticut you would want to find the best moving company in CT.
You should also explain to them the reason behind the transition. Encourage your children to ask questions whenever they fail to understand and allow them to express their feelings and attitudes about the change. Regardless of their opinions and beliefs about the move, inform them that you are committed to supporting them as they transition into the new location.
Transitioning for school-age children
Often, middle-aged school-going children get excited by the prospect of moving to a new location. At this stage, the primary concern if the child revolves around the new school they will join, despite the time of the year you move. Even if your child seems confident about the move, there exist subtle reservations. From a child’s perspective, moving to a new school and environment means a new routine, teachers, and friends.
To help them transition more easily into the new school, collect as much information about the school. You can even identify a particular family with a child that will attend the same school. As the children interact, your child will learn more about the school, neighborhood, teachers, and agreements. This information will provide them a rough picture of what to expect when they get to the school.
Transitioning for Teens
Unlike middle-aged children, teens are more likely to respond negatively to transitioning to a new location. This reaction is attributed to the fact that teens are more integrated into closely-knit friendship groups. Additionally, teenagers are more likely to be involved in romantic relationships, awaiting social events like the school prom or a concert in the area. The idea of missing out on these events will upset your teenagers.
Therefore, it is common that teenagers will be more rebellious to the transitioning process. However, as a parent, there is little you can do about them, especially if the move is urgent. Nonetheless, it would help if you communicate with your child, explaining to them why the move is necessary. You should also explain to them that life gives us challenges that may seem too complicated, but with time everything will be fine. Teenagers need this assurance to calm their upset minds and even prepare them for future moves, like moving to a college miles away from home.
If your child might meet the necessary school examinations, you should consider allowing them to stay behind with a trustworthy family member or family friend until after the exams. Alternatively, you can arrange that your child takes these exams in the new school that they will attend.
Despite the change in the environment, you should try to ease your kids back into the old routine, such as mealtimes, family day outs, or family game nights. You should also unpack all your belongings and settle in as soon as possible. This process creates a familiarity that makes them feel comfortable and secure. Take your kids to the new school, meet the teachers and headteacher, and understand their new school routine. After a few weeks, you should make contact with the school to check how they settled in.
Despite the focus being on settling in and making new connections and friends, check that that your children are still in touch with their old friends. Smartphones have made this process very easy through various social media platforms. If your teenager needed to leave a relationship because of the transition, give them ample time and space to mourn their loss. If finances allow, you can always arrange trips for your kids to visit their friends. Alternatively, you can allow their friends to come and visit.
Moving with children may seem like a daunting task, but it is a process that has been successfully done before. Nonetheless, it is essential to note that the process involves more than merely changing locations. Kids of different ages and personalities will respond differently to transitioning and as a parent, you are obligated to support them through it all. This process will also serve to bring your family closer.
By Samantha Higgins