When a move has been planned and is awaiting execution, we often forget one important part of the move. That is Preparing the child or children for the move. Children don’t often get the idea of why the move is necessary. Also, they often feel powerless and less involved in the decision-making process. It is also important to note that a move uproots our lives, as well as those of our children as we seek to start afresh.
This article is meant to help parents prepare their kids for the oncoming move. We recommend the following tips:
- TALK ABOUT THE MOVES AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE
No matter the circumstances it is very important that you talk about the move to prepare them. Information about the move should be given to them as soon as possible. Every issue raised by the children should be answered as honest as possible. The parent(s) should be accommodating to both positive and negative feedback. The parents should also consider that the children may not see the bigger picture and may be focused on the frightening aspects of the move.
- MAKING THE DECISION TO MOVE
Kids thrive on familiarity and routine. A move means affecting both familiarity and routine. The move may be initiated by factors that may not be in your own hands. If the move was initiated by a tragic event for example a death in the family it is important to postpone the move and let the kids have time to adjust before moving.
Kids that are of a young age are the easiest to embrace the move. This is due to their limited understanding of the changes involved. A brief talk won’t hurt though. For this age set one can use stories to help them understand. If there are possessions that may be of sentimental value it is important to hold onto them for comfort purposes in the new home.
- DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE MOVE TO MAKE CONNECTIONS
You may need to make earlier connections with the destination of the move before the actual move. For example, visiting the kid’s new school to find out if the school offers any activities your kids took in their previous school.
Luring the children with positive anticipation is one way to manufacture excitement and help them look forward to the move.
- VISIT THE NEW HOME
Making a visit to the new home prior to the move will help the children visualize how they will sleep and play. If the physical visit is not possible, a simple video call while at the new home will help. Also take a few pictures and videos to show them when you get back from the visit.
- MAKE MEMORIES
This is the last and most important memories. You need to help the kids create memories they can carry with them to their new home. A pictorial or a short film will be instrumental. Also let them make a list of the top things they loved about the place they are moving from.