Relocation Advice for Families – Coping With Change
As we all know, moving can be a stressful time for all people involved. There are all sorts of new worries and concerns. Adults are not the only ones who feel the pressure and stress from moving.
Kids often feel lots of the same tension and stress. Moving can also create all kinds of uncertainties for a child who may not fully understand what is happening.
First, whether you’re moving across town or your company is relocating across country, it’s important to plan ahead and take extra time. If at all possible, it is best to try to ease into this transition slowly. Understand that your child may have lots of questions and concerns. Make yourself available to them to answer their questions or talk about their feelings. While it might be easy to get caught up in everything that is going on, making time to listen and talk with your children is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked.
Some common things that can come up after or during a big move are mood changes and bad behavior in children. This is to be expected.
Children like predictability and routines. Based on the ages of the children, this rebellion or unease can manifest in a variety of ways. You may find that your normally easygoing teenager is suddenly rebellious and argumentative or that your toilet trained 4 year old is suddenly wetting the bed or having accidents.
Change is hard on everyone. It is important to keep calm and upbeat. Let your child feel safe to come to you with questions. Don’t brush off their feelings or tell them that they are unimportant. When your children talk to you, really listen to them. Understand that while you may see some of their worries as trivial or unimportant, realize that your child finds them important.
If there is time before the move, let your child have some input on some of the decisions. Let them pick out their room color or a piece of furniture. Talk with them about things in the area that might be of interest to them. For example, if your child likes to play sports, check into what types of sports and activities their new school has. Making your children feel like they are involved and part of the whole process can go a long way to helping them adjust and feel more comfortable.
A little bit of planning, attention and time can go a long way in helping your family. Just remember to listen and let them be heard. Following these tips can take some of the stress out of relocating and help everyone cope with this big change.
Author Jason Lancaster is working with TRC Global Solutions, a company that helps military families relocate across the U.S. and across the globe.