Ron Morrison & Pat Bagni-Latimer's Blog
Moving is an exciting time. Whether you’re moving across town, state or country you get to create a clean slate to build your home and life upon. But for children, this can be a confusing and scary time. Routine and familiarity are comforting for children and a move shakes up the very foundation they are used to.
But you don’t have to leave your child in the dark. There are several things you can do to help better prepare your child for the big move. By taking the time to spend with your child discussing the changes ahead. As you start house hunting and throughout the moving process involve your child where possible.
Keep an open dialogue with your child. Ask them what they are excited for and what their fears may be. Collect books either from the library or for your family bookshelf on stories about moving. Reading stories helps children process their feelings and become more familiar with the process. Using storytime is a great way to create a natural conversation about moving with your child.
If possible bring your child to walk or ride their bike around the new neighborhood. Take note of any parks, playgrounds or schools in the area your child may be interested in. If they have a hobby such as dance or soccer look up information about the classes and teams. Talk about the similarities and differences they will experience.
Take the time to research information about the new school they will be attending. What will be the same? What will be different? Ask if your child has any specific questions for you to seek out answers while you do your research to help ease them into the transition.
Assure your child they will be able to stay in touch with friends and family. Collect contact information from their friends as well as the form of communication their parents are comfortable with. Offer options like sending letters, scheduling video chats and visiting the area.
Even if you’re child is especially excited about the move it’s a good idea to keep things as similar as possible. Refrain from changing out furniture and bedding right away. And if possible maintain your usual schedule throughout the days and weeks ahead. Sticking to a familiar routine will be soothing for your child as they transition to their new environment.
Moving is a big change for children and often their first major life transition. And while they may feel confused or scared you can ensure they feel understood. By keeping an open conversation with them throughout the process you can cater to bother their excitement and fears. A new home can create both a clean slate and more importantly an opportunity to bring your family even closer together.