Even though relocating provides the opportunity to start a new chapter in life, it can be as hard for kids as it is for adults. Relocating almost always happens due to some circumstances. However, when it first happens, children may have a hard time seeing it that way. Relocating can make kids feel as though they have very little control over what is going on around them. Even if they adjust to their new home, the post-relocation period can be quite challenging for them.
If you have experienced moving with children before, these woes are most probably familiar. If you haven’t, you’re probably looking around for some tips to get both you and your kids through this challenging time. In this article, we want to share some tips that can help make relocating easier for your child/children.
Understand that it will be tough for kids to adapt to relocation, so we must provide them with the best support we can. The best way to do this is to ensure you keep the stress at bay as best as you can. Less stressed parents result in less stressed children. Ensure everyone gets adequate sleep. When moving, most parents just hope that their kids will be understanding and not be problematic without addressing issues that might make them act out. Even if their anger and frustration will make you cancel the move, it will be better if you try and understand where they are coming from and try your best to explain why what is being done needs to be done.
Keep Some of Their Familiar Stuff
A move may take from a child most of the things they are familiar with. At such a young age, most kids do not expect life to take such a turn, so they do not know how to deal with it any better than you do. To help them feel a little bit better, keep a few items that you had from the old house. Take old furniture, photos, clothes, and household artifacts to make the new place seem as familiar as possible. In the case of older children, do everything possible to ensure that they stay in communication with their friends from home. Before your moving day, make sure that your internet provider has installed internet service so that they can remain on the online platform. For the young ones, toys are usually most effective.
Maintain the Same Routine
Even though you have relocated to a different house, the schedule followed at the old house does not have to change. Keeping up with the old routine and practicing the same rituals can help kids adapt faster to the relocation. For instance, if you had family meals together or game night once a week, keep it up. Providing children with a sense of consistency provides reassurance that not everything in their lives has been stripped away. The same applies to toddlers as well. Even though they may not be old enough to comprehend the changes that are happening around them, small things such as sleeping in a new crib or lying on a new set of sheets can cause them to throw fits. If this happens, try and use old beddings that they were familiar with, and maintain the same bedtime routine. This can improve their behavior drastically in a couple of days.
Get Them Involved
Once the move is complete and you have received all your belongings from your moving company storage facility (if you used one), find an activity for your children to indulge in. This way they can connect with their new neighborhood. If you are relocating during summer, send your kids to summer camps so that they already have pals by the time the beginning of the school year comes around. If not, other activities such as sports can be ideal. It is not advisable to leave your kids to their devices without getting them engaged in the relocation process.
Understand Their Emotions
During a move, kids are often overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, anger, joy, sadness, and frustration. All these feelings can be hard to handle. It is crucial for you to be aware of all these feelings to determine how to help them handle the situation better. To help them control their emotions, take them through what to expect when relocating, and have something planned out for them in the new place. Use cues to see what your child is feeling and how they are coping with the relocation.
Grant Them Control over Some Decisions
Their disapproval of the relocation might not have changed anything; therefore, give them some things that they can make decisions in as you settle into your new place. For instance, let them approve of the choice of house rugs, wall colors in their rooms, and other décor decisions. You can also reward them with something they have wanted for a long time, such as a pet. This will give them something else to pay attention to rather than the fact that they left their familiar lives behind.
Be Ready for Retrogressive Behavior
When young children are faced with stressful situations, they use retrogressive behavior as a way to cope with it. You may notice odd behaviors such as more than often tantrums, a change in appetite, disruption of regular sleep pattern, clinginess, or backsliding potty training. If any of these issues arise, understand that they’re responding to the new circumstances in their own way. Let them move at their own adjustment pace as rushing them can make the situation even worse. However, if the regressive behavior continues for far too long and is interfering with their daily lives, consider consulting the services of a pediatrician.
Get Acquainted With Your Neighbors
As soon as you settle into the new house, present your children with as many opportunities as possible to make new friends. Let them join as many clubs and indulge in as many activities as they want to. This will help your child pick out the group that he clicked with best out of all the ones they tried out. Trying new activities out can also help you make some new mom friends. You can also host a party with fun activities that suit both kids and parents, and invite some of your neighbors who also have children.