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How to Help Your Children Adjust to a Move

Posted by: Jessica Oaks - August 31, 2016

Job loss, promotions, transfers, and other work opportunities can force families to move unexpectedly. Of course, even planned moves can be difficult for the family. Being uprooted from the familiar is difficult regardless of age. And that is because moving to a new home or new city is a big change. However, moving can be particularly difficult for children. If you are planning a move in the near future or recently relocated, these steps can help your children adjust to their new lives and neighborhood.

Help Develop Your Kids' Social Skills

The sooner that your children find other kids just like them, the sooner they'll feel at home. If your kids are having a tough time adapting, have them join a club, sign up for a sports league like AYSO, enroll in the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, or participate in events at the local library. Doing so will make it easier for them to make new friends.

Discuss the Move with the Kids and Be Open

Even if you're just moving across town, you don't want to spring the move on your children at the last minute. Give them time to adjust on their own so that they can approach the move with their own expectations. Explain why the family is moving, encourage them to ask questions, and if possible, let them know that things don't have to change as much as they may fear.

Give Them a Virtual Tour

Websites like ForRent are designed to make it easy to find apartments for rent in NYC and other large metropolitan areas. However, there is another feature that is particularly useful to parents of young children: you can give your children a virtual tour of their new home prior to ever visiting in person. Much of the fear and anxiety your children will feel in response to a move is due to the unknown. Help eliminate the unknown and answer your kids' questions, and they will feel less worried about moving.

Involve Them in Making the New House a Home

Involving your children in the moving process can help them feel more confident and secure. It will help them feel as if they have a say and a role in the family's next chapter. One way that you can involve them is by letting them decorate. Perhaps you give them carte blanche to decorate the entire home, or (more likely!) simply let them dictate what their bedrooms look like. Regardless of what approach you decide on, give your children a vote and a role in the proceedings.

Explore Your New Community

Moving to a new city can be a lonesome endeavor, but meeting new people can quickly ease your pain and help you and your children adapt to your new surroundings. Use apps like Yelp and Nextdoor to explore your new neighborhood and meet new friends. Rather than lament the loss of your favorite donut shop or pizza delivery place, find their replacements in your new backyard. The way to kids' hearts is through their stomachs! The sooner you familiarize yourself with your new community, the better.

Stick with Old Routines

If Friday night is movie night, stick with that routine! If Wednesday night is ice cream night, find a local ice cream parlor and make yourself regular patrons. By sticking with the familiar and the routine, you can minimize the number of changes that your children are forced to adapt to. Just because the surroundings change doesn't mean that their habits do too. The fewer things that are upended in your kids' lives, the easier they'll adapt to moving.

Are You Moving with Kids? You Can Do It!

Moving with children can be a daunting proposition. You may even second-guess your decision for fear of how the move may impact your kids. However, it's important to know that you can do it. In fact, it doesn't have to be as challenging as you think. Taking the steps outlined above can greatly reduce your kids' anxieties and worries, and in the process, may even help ease some of your own fears.

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Posted by: Jessica Oaks| August 31, 2016
Categories:  Parenting Tips
Keywords:  Parenting Tips
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