Relocation means new prospects and a new beginning. Even though adults understand this, the process of relocation can leave one drained. The kids may find it difficult to comprehend the reasons behind a move. They may struggle to cope with all the changes. It is essential to help make the transition smooth for them and to help them settle into your new home.
As parents, you want the best for your children. You do not want them to be negatively affected by the looming change. Here’s a list of ten tips that you can follow to help your kids adjust to the new home.
Give Them a Preview
If you want the kids to adjust well to the new environment, start the weaning process early. Visit the new home along with the kids and take a tour of the surroundings before the move. Show them the amenities.
Encourage the kids to share their ideas for the interior design of the new home. Describe your plans for the place. Help them imagine what life in the new home would be like. These activities might help boost their excitement for moving into their new abode.
Talk to them
A mistake parents sometimes make is not really talking about the big changes in life. In a bid to protect the children from distress, they unintentionally end up creating confusion and adjustment issues.
Tell the kids the reason behind the move in a way they will understand. Let them know what the move might entail. Explain the pros and cons of the relocation. Comfort them and tell them that you will try your best to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible for them.
Entertain their questions
It’s likely that the kids will have many questions related to the move. Let them ask as many questions as they like. They would possibly want to know the why, where, when, and how of the move, along with what they can or will be expected to do at the new place.
Try not to disregard their questions; answer them as honestly as possible. Satisfying their curiosity can go a long way toward preparing them mentally for the move.
Encourage the kids to express their feelings
You won’t know if you don’t listen, and you can’t help if you don’t know. If you want to understand what the child feels about the move, you have to coax them to talk. You could gently ask them to express what they are feeling. If they are having a difficult time, ask them to let you know, so that you can help. Appease their fears and make it known that you will help them find solutions.
Enlist their help during the move
Give the kids small tasks during the relocation process. This will make them feel like they are contributing, while also getting them used to the idea of relocation and a new home. Physically helping out will prepare them better mentally. Moving entails a lot of small tasks, some of which you can allocate to the kids to keep them involved.
Let them help you unpack
Unpacking in a new home means making it your own. Allow the kids to get a feel of this by letting them help you unpack. Of course, there will be some boxes and things that you would want to keep them away from, for safety reasons. But they can help with other boxes, especially the ones meant for their own rooms. The kids can help you arrange and organise the stuff in the new home. It will lessen your burden and be an adjustment activity for them.
Help them adapt to the new location
For the kids to really settle down, they need to get a sense of belonging. This will only happen when they get more involved in the new setting. As a parent, you can help them find activities and classes that they will love in the new surroundings. For instance, if they have always wanted to take swimming lessons, you could find a place near your new home that offers them just that. If they love gardening and your new surroundings have the necessary space, allow the kids to get their hands dirty. Even playing games like hearts online on devices while being comfortable around the house might help them adapt better. The sooner they find activities they love in and around the new home, the sooner they will adjust.
Encourage them to make new friends
It is true that you cannot force friendships. However, you can create situations that make it easier for your kids to make new friends. For instance, if your kids are very young, you can arrange play dates for them with other kids from the locality. Organise a housewarming party and invite the neighbours.
While the kids are still trying to make new friends, encourage them to remain in touch with their old friends via phone, text, social media, or video calls. This will prevent them from feeling lost and lonely; they will still have someone (apart from their parents) to talk to while they warm up to the new place.
Build up new comforting routines in the new home
Take advantage of some of the best features of your new home. If it has a spacious balcony that can accommodate a small chair or two and a table, encourage them to have breakfast there while enjoying the view. Of if there’s a nice pathway nearby, take a walk with the kids for a few minutes every day. If there’s a good fireplace in the house, gather the kids around for story time. Incorporate the features of the house into warm and fun routines.
Decorate parts of the house according to the preferences of the kids
Allot sections of the house to activities that the kids love and decorate these sections to optimise them for those activities. For instance, if your kid loves to paint, allot a corner for this activity and arrange the painting supplies on shelves or in cabinets in this area. Nothing can make them grow fond of a place sooner than having their own comfortable ‘spots’.
To help your kids love and accept the new house as their home, you, as the parent, need to make conscious efforts. With a few thoughtful actions, you can help your kids deal with the change. Your presence matters too, since it is the people that turn the house into a home.