You think that relocating is stressful for you? Just think about how stressful it is for your kids. Your children don’t understand that they’ll make new friends, find new things to do, or even learn to enjoy their new school. All your kids know is that they are leaving everything they love behind, and this is the worst time in their young lives. If you want to avoid a major melt down, there are ways that you need to handle the transition your family is going through.
Years of research has shown that children are happier and better behaved when they follow a routine. Just because you’re moving doesn’t mean that you have to adjust the routine that you’ve gotten your little ones used to. In fact, moving the routine into your new home will help your children transition quicker. This is especially important at bed time, when your child may be more likely to experience anxiety in his new house. According to child sleep expert Jennifer Waldburger, insufficient sleep affects your child’s behavior and emotion in negative ways. Stick to the routine today and save yourself from a headache tomorrow.
Has your daughter always wanted a neon purple room? Perhaps your son wants, for whatever reason, to paint his walls blood red. A new house is the perfect opportunity to let your kids channel their inner decorators. Your kids will feel at home when they have autonomy in designing their own rooms. Blood red may be your absolute last choice for a wall color, but remember that walls can be repainted and doors can be shut; pick your battles.
Part of the reason that your kids are so anxious is that everything is unfamiliar. Spend the weekend exploring your new city, paying special attention to family activities and local parks. Not only will you get some great ideas for family time, but your kids will have so much fun that they’ll instantly fall in love with their new home. If your kids are especially resistant to get out and explore, don’t force them. Instead, collect brochures from local attractions and share them with your kids. Once they see what is so interesting, they’ll be more likely to get up and go.
It’s a new house and it’s time for new traditions. Start doing something fun and new in the house that you didn’t do in your old one. Make every Friday night game night, no matter what. Eat breakfast in bed on Saturday mornings. Think of something that you can do in the new home that will turn it into a special place for your children.
It seems simple, but you would be surprised at all of the parents who are too busy to talk to their kids during and after a move. Sit down with your kids and let them voice their fears and concerns. Sometimes it only takes a listening ear to make your children feel at ease. Cook a great meal, sit down for dinner as a family, and ask your kids how they are feeling about the big move.
Do not expect your children to transition to their new home as easily as you have. Children do not have the mental maturity to realize that their world isn’t ending. The way that you handle the move will determine how readily your children adjust.