Moving is a change in life that is bound to happen at one point or another. Some people approach it with enthusiasm and excitement, while for others it can be a time of stress and anxiety at the thought of starting fresh somewhere new.
For kids, it can definitely be a challenging time, as they will have to leave their friends, school and community behind and start over at another place. But this is definitely something we, as parents, can prepare them for to make it a little easier.
Here are some ways to help ease the stress and mixed feelings children may feel about moving to a new home:
Pray with them.
Talk to your kids about the worries they have about moving to a new community, and ask them about their fears and concerns. Read the following Bible passage to them, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Ensure your kids know that God is always there to listen. Then, pray with them, telling the Lord how your kids feel, and asking that he guides them on this new journey life is taking your family on.
This may be exactly what your children need to strengthen their faith, and to feel like they have a solid support system to lean on during this time of change.
Set aside a fun day to enjoy the community they are moving from.
Plan a day with your family, making a list of the favorite places or things that each person likes about the community they are moving from. Make a day of it, by visiting and doing the things on the list together.
So if your children have a beach or park they love that they grew up going to, go and make some final memories for them to cherish. That way, instead of only looking back on it with sadness, they will smile also remembering the fond memories you shared there together.
Make sure your kids know that moving doesn’t mean leaving everything behind.
Something that may keep your kids reluctant to moving is the fact they think they are leaving everything behind. And while they are leaving their physical home and community, it’s important for you to let them know that they are not going to lose their friends and family when they move.
Thankfully, technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch. Let them know that they will always be able to connect with their loved ones by phone, or even email and video chat. This way, they won’t feel like they are losing everything by moving.
Put together a memory box from your old home.
Have each family member gather items to remember from their old home before they move. This can be an old key, doorknob or family photos. As you put it together, talk about why these items mean so much to each person, and share your favorite memories from times you’ve spent at home.
To add a special touch, take one last family photo in front of the house before you move, and decorate the box with it.
This will give you a nice box of memories for your kids to look back on when they are feeling homesick, so they always feel like they have a piece of home with them.
Make list of things to look forward to in your new home.
Research some places and activities unique to the community you are moving to that you think your kids would enjoy, and make a list for them to look through.
Have them point out what they would like to try after moving. This gives them something to look forward to and be excited about at their new home.
If you are preparing for a move, keep these ideas in mind to try with your children. And, most importantly, remember to not feel guilty about your decision to move your family to a new place.
Moving can be a stressful time for everyone, but it is important to remember that moving was a careful decision made for your whole family’s well being. In the long run, your kids will be thankful for the quality family times they have spent at each home you live in.