If relocating is a painful process for you, it is equally traumatic for your children too! In fact, your children will end up with conflicting feelings concerning the whole thing. On the one hand, they may feel excited at the thought of settling into a new residence; on the other, they may also experience fear at having to adjust to a new school and a new environment. There is also the sadness of parting from old friends. You will also notice that older siblings find it harder to take than the littler ones.
So, how do you make things a little easier for your loved ones “before moving day”?
(1) Smaller ones may not be able to fathom your reasons for the relocation or even care much about it, but older/school-going children can be informed several months ahead of the move (that is, if you know about it yourself). It will give them time to get used to the idea of relocating.
(2) Help each one pack up precious possessions that give comfort, as well as pillows, toiletries, games, and snacks in preparation for moving day.
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(3) Why not organize a special farewell party together? Noting down the phone numbers and addresses of friends and relatives who are being left behind is also a good idea. Being able to “stay in touch” makes separation easier to handle.
(4) Your children will need to adjust to a new school. So, once you have settled upon the particular school that they will be attending, spare time to meet the principal, a few teachers, and future classmates.
(5) The old school has to be requested to forward your children’s school records to the new one. Ensure that all dental and medical records are in place.
(6) Do research the area you will be relocating to. There are organizations like the Welcome Wagon, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Realtors who will be more than willing to help you gather information.
(7) Let your children know what you have found about the new place. If you can obtain some postcards or brochures, all the better! Why not create a project together? You could draw an illustrated map of the place, write out interesting and unusual information, or draw pictures of your new residence. Even friends and family will be thrilled to share this experience!
(8) And if there is enough time, let your children have a guided (you are the guide) tour of the new residence, new neighborhood and new town/city.
Despite the initial hiccups, you need not really worry; children are basically resilient and tend to bounce back quickly!