How to Get Your Family More Excited About Moving
by Alek Sabin
Moving can be a very stressful experience, and it is something that affects the entire family. There are a lot of little details that must be managed, and it can often seem overwhelming to the adults who must pick up their entire life and put it somewhere else. However, it can be just as overwhelming to the children in a family who is moving, and perhaps even more so, as these changes often feel even more momentous to a kid. While it is another thing to throw onto the list of things that adults must worry about when they are moving, it is incredibly important to keep the feelings of your children into consideration when you move. Here are some tips to help get your family more comfortable and excited about the idea of moving…
Play Up the Feelings of Adventure
While it can be very scary, moving to an entirely new place is definitely a great adventure! There are so many things to explore and learn, as well as interesting people to meet. There are countless places to live around the world, and each of them has their own little quirks that makes living there a unique experience. Help your child to see this opportunity for what it is: another adventure! You can even go as far as making the entire process of moving feel like a game. Keeping a fun, positive vibe will keep your child from fretting and stewing about having to leave their old home behind, and build excitement for all of the things around the corner.
Show Them Their New Neighborhood, Beforehand
A new neighborhood is a new experience, but this can often seem very overwhelming, through the eyes of a child. This is especially true if the child doesn’t get to experience much of this new place before they have to leave their old home and settle into somewhere they aren’t familiar with. This process can be eased, however, by taking your child to see where they are going several times before you move. This isn’t always a possibility, depending on the details of the move, but should always be done if it is an option. Go explore the new neighborhood and show them what is in store for them. Make them feel as if they have a really good grasp of where they are going before they are thrust into this new place.
Look for Exciting Activities and Events
One of the most terrifying parts of moving to a new place, for a child, is having to start at a new school (here’s a good article to help you find that new school). However, your child’s entire social existence shouldn’t be dependent on school. This is a great time to find other activities for your child to participate in, outside of school. This will help them find other kids with their same interests. On top of that, look for neighborhood events for your whole family to participate in, as this is an important step towards your child feeling welcome in their new home.
Listen and Be Thoughtful of Their Concerns
It is hard to underestimate the power that simply listening to someone can have. This is especially true, when it comes to children. Take your kids aside after you tell them that you are moving and talk to them about how they are feeling about it. Ask them if there are any concerns that they have, but also be sure to goad them into talking about the aspects that they are excited about. This will make your kids feel that they are being heard, and lets you get a chance to see inside their heads and get an idea for how they are feeling. If a child feels like they don’t matter, in these situations, it can feel soul crushing and make them feel as though they don’t matter. This is especially true of teenagers, who oftentimes may have a harder time adjusting to a move.
Put Effort into a Smooth Move
If a move is rocky and stressful, it makes the whole situation that much more difficult for a child to accept. Making sure that moving goes smoothly, and the transition into your new home is positive will attach good feelings with their new place, and help them begin to fairly process this new environment. There are many aspects to making sure that a move goes over smoothly, but one of the most important things is to just be prepared and make detailed plans.