Help Your Children Adjust to Their New Home
Moving can be exciting for you. You get a new opportunity, maybe a new job and a new home. But for kids, moving may seem like their world is flipping upside down. You can ease the transition by helping your child adjust to their new home. Let’s explore some ways to do this.
- Talk openly with your child
Kids can totally sense problems; so if you stress over moving and the new home, they’ll feel it. Talk openly with your child about finding a new home, moving, and the challenges to come. Be available to answer questions and calm their fears. Don’t minimize their issues. To a child, the worst part of moving might be that they won’t be able to ride bikes with their neighborhood friends any more. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is a real concern to a child. Listen and reassure them of all the great things to come.
- Involve your child in the home shopping process
Looking at houses online? Let them tell you the ones they like and don’t like. While they don’t have the final say, they’ll feel great about having the option to express the features that are important to them. Does your daughter love her swing set in the backyard? Try and find a new home that will accommodate that. If your son enjoys his basketball goal in the driveway, look for a new home with a driveway for his at-home-court. Listening to their input will make them feel important.
- Show off the new home and new town
Take kids by the new local park, school, and other fun spots. Get them excited about their new home town. What does the new town have to offer? Is there a professional sports team you can go watch? Is there a game room down the street where you can spend Friday nights? Help your child picture life in this strange new place. Allow older children access to books and websites about your new hometown so they can learn more on their own. Encourage them to create a “bucket list” of things they want to do in their new town.
- Give your child an outlet
During the stresses of moving, give your kids some sort of stress-release outlet. Do you need to keep their crayons out so they can express themselves artistically? Maybe your son should take his guitar along with him so he can release some steam jamming out. Or maybe your daughter should hang on to her soccer ball so she can go run around and release some tension. Whatever that outlet is for your child, make it accessible to them during the move.
- Set up their room first
If possible, try and set up their new room first so they can start to feel at home right away. They can feel frustrated and lost in a new home, so giving them a safe haven is important to help them adjust. If possible, let your child have some input on the décor of their room, too. They can really take pride in their new room that they helped design.
- Establish connections
After moving, help your children find their place socially. They will adjust to their new home better if they feel connected. Get involved in sports teams, school activities, church groups, or any other places where your child can make new friends. Also help kids stay in touch with their old friends. Technology makes this really easy with social networks and video calling.
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