Thinking about moving to a new city, a new country, a new house? Sooner or later, many families face the prospect of moving. Not sure what to do to prepare your child? Read on for some tips on how to prepare your child for the move.
I remember when I moved from England, back to Greece. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and I hated it for the first year. I was in secondary school and I had already made some close friends. It’s not easy moving to a new country, especially if you are a little older. However, adapting to a new environment will happen, it’s just that it needs patience, time and parental support.
Talk to your child:
No matter what the circumstances of your move are, the most important thing to do to prepare your child for it, is to talk to them about it. Give as much information as possible. Answer their questions honestly and be prepared for them to react negatively as well as positively. A lot will depend on how you present the move; so if you are feeling bad about it yourself, do not show it. Children have an innate perception and will feed off their parent’s mood.
Involve your child in the move:
If you are moving house or moving to a new town, try to take your child to visit the new house and explore the new neighbourhood. For more distant moves, like moving to another country, plan a holiday to that destination beforehand, so that your child knows what to expect when you move there. If that is not feasible, access the internet to learn about the particular country and community you will be living in.
Moving with a young child
Children ages younger than 6 are the easiest to move with, as their understanding of the changes involved is fairly limited. Even in this case though, your parental guidance is crucial for a smooth transition. Here are some things you can do to help your child with the transition:
- Use a story to explain the move.
- When you pack your toddler’s toys make sure they understand you’re not throwing them away.
- If your new home is vacant, plan a visit, taking some toys with you each time.
- Keep explanations clear and simple.
Moving with school age children
There are two schools of thought about the right time to move when your child is at school. Some experts say that it is best to move at the end of the academic year because it doesn’t disrupt the school year. Others say that it is best to move mid-year because a child can make new friends right away. Whichever one suits your family situation and you decide upon, make sure you have all the information the new school will need to process the transfer. Talk to you child and prepare them for the change, listen to their fears and concerns. Remember to set realistic expectations about the transition. Generally, teachers expect newcomers to start settling in school after about 6 weeks. Some children may need less time, others more.
A move may present many challenges, but good things can also come from it. Your family will grow closer and you will learn many things about one another.
Hope this helped. Wishing you all the best on your move! ❤
Till next time…