Relocating can be very thrilling and anxious at the same time, especially for kids.
Let’s say you are finally moving from Manila into your new home in Amaia Scapes Bauan in Batangas. Can you imagine the change in scenery and the people? Your excitement level may not be even half of what your kids are feeling.It’s natural. Moving is stressful for kids because it entails significant adjustments for them.
Moving is disruptive to meaningful friendships. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personality Psychology, a move is particularly tougher for kids who are introverted. Relocating is basically a change of environment and inflexibility among introverts almost always gets in the way. That doesn’t mean extroverts don’t feel unease because they also do.
In this chaotic phase, parents, you can help your kids.
You can always minimize the adverse effects to make the move easier for them. Bear in mind that it’s a long process. Parents like you need to be supportive. Don’t set your kids up for disappointment.
1) Talk to them why a move is necessary.
You may able to alleviate some of your kids’ stress if they would know the reason behind relocating to a new place. The time it will take you to prepare your children before the actual move-in date will affect how fast your kids will adapt to their new environment. Do this at least one month before moving. This time is sufficient enough to process the information and the impending change. When talking to them, focus on things that will stay the same such as the pets and their toys.
2) Inspire them to make memories.
For school-aged kids, give him or her a day or two (or even a week) to make memories that they can keep forever. Give your child a camera or let him or her borrow your smartphone. Tell your kid to take pictures of the house, favorite places, school and, of course, his or her friends. To further ease the transition, schedule an advance tour of your new house. Again, let your kid take pictures that he or she can show to his or her friends. In this way, your child’s apprehensions will be addressed early on.
3) Ask them to maintain the friendships established.
Technology makes it easier to communicate with one another. Kids should feel that there is always a way to sustain the friendship despite the distance. Go ahead and ask your kid’s best friend’s mom or dad for a number your son or daughter may call. Social networking sites are also a good way to keep the communication lines intact. Just seeing your best friend’s smile through a video chat can be really comforting.
4) Encourage them to make new friends.
Initiate and show them the good effects of entering into new social circles. Get out and get to know your neighbors. Of course, you may not be able to know all the neighbors in one round. Plan a weekly neighborhood visit if that’s necessary. This may ease the gap left by unintentionally losing some friends and enduring tough goodbyes. Don’t rush them to accommodate new friendships if they aren’t ready, though. Experts claim that kids adjust on their own pace. What you can do foris to show them how to make friends.
5) Guide them throughout the transition.
At times, kids mirror the emotions of their parents. If you feel sad about the move, don’t be afraid to show it to them. Show them how you are handling the sadness especially if you have kids older than three years. Empathize but be positive and make them feel everything will be okay. Don’t badmouth your new neighbors or neighborhood. Don’t compare your old home with your new one even if the comparison is positive. If it helps, stick to routines since a sense of consistency reassures your kids that the change is bearable.
Although experts say that it takes up to six months for kids to acclimate to their new home, thriving on your surroundings can become immediate if you know where to start.