Moving can be a trying time for many children. In the case of long distance moves, many times friends and close family are left behind. There is no sure fire way of making your children 100 percent comfortable with a move, but there are several ways to ease their transition into their new home.
A child's world is based on routine. And we need look no further than ABC's Super Nanny to see that to maintain happy, healthy, disciplined children, they must have a steady routine. Chances are their routine will be disrupted for weeks before and after the actual move date. Attempt to re-establish some semblance of normalcy as soon as you arrive at your new home.
- Unpack the children's rooms first. Let them help, perhaps even let them choose new paint colors or arrangements of their rooms
- Establish a specific meal time. This will be difficult in the midst of unpacking and settling in, but attempt to have dinner as a family every night at, say, 7:00 p.m.
- Be consistent with discipline. It can be easy to let behavioral issues slide, forgiving misbehavior due to the stress of moving, but establishing that this home is just like the old home -- especially in terms of discipline is extremely important.
Join Local Organizations
Even if your child is a natural extrovert, they may need help making new friends. Try joining community organizations, such as the local YMCA. By doing so, you will be involved with parents and children from all over your area. So if you have a child who is on the shy side, you may be able to direct them to activities that will supply them social interaction. By helping them get involved you will give them the chance to meet new people in a safe environment. And you might meet some great people too!
More than anything, children need to feel that they are secure. Especially younger children may initially become "clingy" after a move. Be sure to let them talk openly about their fears and let them know how they can contact you any time they are feeling scared.
- Accompany your child to their new school. Most schools will be more than willing to let you come in at any time to take a tour. It might work best to visit after school has been dismissed, so that your child can get their bearings without the stress of dozens of eyes on them.
- Supply your children with several copies of new contact information: phone numbers and address.
Be consistent with your children, help them make a great new start, and let them know you love them no matter where you live. For more helpful information about moving with kids, click here.