Although it can bring a positive change, relocation is a difficult process. And Nancy Zafrani, the General Manager of the NYC moving company OZ Moving, knows all about it.
“As adults, we are aware of the many financial and emotional challenges moving day comes with. However, having to relocate can prove even more difficult for the kids,” says Zafrani.
To give you a leg-up, she has prepared five tips for you to help your kids cope with the upcoming move. According to Zafrani, putting these suggestions into practice will see that your kids get a better understanding of what is to come while viewing the impending change in a positive light. Also, she would like you to remember that these tips apply to kids of all ages. So let us get started!
1. Talk Openly About the Move
Kids thrive on routine and familiarity, and there are no two ways about it. As such, you need to understand how a sudden decision to move can impact your kids negatively. To that end, the best way to prepare them mentally for moving day is to be open about it.
Because change does not come easy, you will have to provide your kids with as much information as possible. By doing so, they will feel less like the change is being imposed on them. Over time, they may even warm up to the idea of having to relocate.
However, before that can happen, remember that your kids need to be in the know. That is to say, you too must not shy away from any of their questions. Be prepared to answer them to the best of your abilities and remain receptive to your kids’ reactions.
2. Acknowledge Their Feelings
Discussing the move with your kids is likely to result in outbursts of different emotions. And you, as a parent, need to be ready to acknowledge them for what they are — grief.
After all, it is only natural for your kids to grieve. To help them get a better grasp of their emotions, you can provide them with visual cues. That way, you will get an opportunity to understand their mental states and actively support them throughout the process.
For visual cues, all you need is a pen and paper. List the different stages of grief ranging from denial, through anger, bargaining, depression, to acceptance. Then, display the cheat sheet in a visible spot. Encourage your kids to highlight and vocalize how they feel about the move at any given point. Also, make an effort to retain a positive attitude toward their mood swings, regardless of the circumstances.
3. Plan the Move With Them in Mind
Although it is challenging to get all your ducks in a row when relocating, make sure to plan the moving day with your kids’ social life in mind. Since it is bound to take a toll on them one way or another, the best you can do is try minimizing its extent.
In other words, you should plan the move at a time that is beneficial for your kids. To that end, moving in between school years or winter holidays is a good choice. That is to say, your kids will have enough time to engage with their old friends and get to meet new ones after relocating.
Moreover, timing your move correctly will let you familiarize your kids with the new home. Also, you will get to spend some quality time and explore the new location together. Subsequently, your kids will get accustomed to their new surroundings faster and have an easier time integrating into their peers’ social circles. All in all, you should always aim for the smoothest transition possible.
4. Help Them Stay in Touch and Make Memories
Your kids will want to stay in touch with their old friends. Keep an open mind and help them connect with their old pals through social media. And if they are not fond of the digital sphere, encourage them to become pen pals with their old classmates.
Additionally, you can help them prepare for moving day by capturing memories of your old home. Take some pictures before you start packing, make a photo album, or have them journal the whole process. In that way, you’ll instill a positive mindset and your kids will look back at the relocation fondly.
5. Pack Together
Packing is an onerous task. While it requires a lot of organizing and preparation, it does not mean that you should exclude your kids from it. As a matter of fact, you should see that you pack your belongings with them at your side.
For example, having your kids tend to their toys is a good starting point. By doing so, they will become an active participant. This will let them know that you appreciate their presence, efforts, and input.
Ultimately, choosing to pack together with your kids will not only help them shift their perspective but also encourage a positive outlook on the move as a whole.
Your Kids Should Come First
“Taking your kids’ needs into consideration is the best way to go about your moving day,” concludes Zafrani. And we wholeheartedly agree!
In the long run, tending to your kids’ emotional needs is just as important as tending to their physical needs. To ensure that they are mentally prepared for moving day, you can expand on these five tips as you deem fit. To that end, we hope that your kids will get on board painlessly and embrace the relocation sooner rather than later.