Moving to a new address is always an opportunity for a fresh start. New business opportunities, better amenities, more developed traffic lines, and healthier living conditions make only the tip of what can be considered a long list of reasons why these relocations make a necessary and, in most cases, very beneficial part of life.
However, things couldn’t look different from a child’s perspective. In their eyes, moving is seen as uprooting from the place they see as home and where they have established social relationships to a new location that is alien and sometimes even scary.
So, even though relocation to a new city may, at the moment, seem like a good idea, you should always take a moment to see how you can make this transition easier for your kids. Let us look at some of the most important mentions.
Keep things transparent
Kids and teens are very emotionally intelligent, and they can easily see through the sweet-talking. So, when they feel they are manipulated, they will develop an aversion toward anything that might be going behind their back. From that point on, anything you do to smooth out the transition will be an uphill battle. Do your best then to cut this problem at its root by being as transparent regarding the move as possible. Tell them about your plans, talk about the possible location, and present the benefits but also don’t shy away from the things they might be troubling, so they are emotionally prepared for future challenges.
Make your children a part of the process
People tend to develop much stronger positive emotions over things they have a sense of ownership over. The kids and teenagers are really no different. Because of that, including them in the planning of the transition and giving them a say in the decisions you are going to make will work to your advantage. Also, make sure they are involved all the way through – from choosing the future home to picking up the room and allowing them to decorate it to fit their tastes. Of course, in order to preserve the sense of transparency we talked about above, you should set some clear set of boundaries.
Give kids enough time to prepare for the move
Sudden changes can turn out to be positive, but often, they end up being traumatic. Changes as massive as relocation can produce even deeper emotions. That is why you should give yourself and your kids enough time to adapt to the whole thing. For a start, check out the available apartment rentals early on and pay a couple of visits to the considered properties so your family can get the gist of the new neighbourhood. Ideally, you should also transition to a new address in several stages to soften the sense of finality. While you are doing all that, keep your children busy with various moving chores.
Don’t lose any of the amenities
In other words, your family budget should be able to sustain the moving expenses without depriving your family members of any of the amenities they are used to. The changes like moving are troubling as they are – no need to aggravate your kids even further by turning their lifestyle on its nose as well. That, on the other hand, requires a healthy dose of long-term financial planning. So, check a couple of popular personal finance books, plan the expenses, set up the moving budget, and don’t rush through the process. The fewer things you leave unaccounted for, the smoother the transition will end up being.
Take into account past and future social connections
Looking from the kids’ perspective, losing friends must be one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of the relocation process. That is why you should assure your kids that this will not be a one-way trip and they will be able to maintain their social relationships. Planning out vacations and some shared activities with their friends before the reality of the situation starts sinking in can only work to your advantage. While you are doing that, you should also start setting up new social circles as well. Sports activities, enrolling your children in the library and art classes make some of the most popular mentions.
Consider using counselling services
Finally, we would like to remind you that your children may be much better at keeping their true emotions hidden than you might think. This is especially true if they have a developed sense of pride or are somehow incentivized to roll with your decisions. But their underlying emotions can’t be suppressed forever, and they can develop into very severe emotional, social, and psychological issues. Therefore, if you have any suspicion your children have a hard time coping with the changes or want to be sure they are okay, consider hiring counselling services and putting a stop to these worries.
We hope these couple of mentions will give you a better idea about how challenging relocation can be for your children as well as present some of the useful ways to mitigate these issues early on. Even though moving to a new city always presents a wealth of new and exciting opportunities, kids tend to look at these changes as punishment. It is our duty to make them cope with these problems and spend their youth as carefree as possible.
About the Author: Lilly Miller is a freelance journalist focused on sustainable living, family lifestyle, and continuous learning. With a degree in marketing and almost a decade of journalism experience, she writes hands-on articles based on a holistic approach and thorough research.