Adults understand why moving is essential. In fact, adults in the family are the ones to decide when and where to move. However, this isn’t the same for kids. The entire process of moving, working with the best moving company NYC or long distance movers, and living in a new neighborhood can be too much for them. These are major changes in their lives, which can cause anxiety.
As parents or guardians, it’s your responsibility to help children cope with moving anxiety. Disregarding this problem can adversely affect your child’s mental health and wellbeing. And in worse cases, their anxiety might even become the reason why they’ll distance themselves from the family.
To ensure that your upcoming move will be stress-free for the kids, take note of the following tips:
- Allow your child to express their feelings
It’ll be easier for you to help your child cope with moving anxiety if you have an open mind. The moment you announce to your children that the family is moving, expect that they will have mixed emotions about it. Some kids will be scared, others will be excited. Some might even seem uninterested with the idea of moving.
Instead of dictating how they should react, create an environment that makes it easy for your kids to vent out their feelings. Regardless if they’re happy, sad, or scared, allow them to talk without judgment.
If the move triggered negative emotions from your kids, say anger or fear, explain why they feel this way, and provide explanations when needed.
Are they angry because they can no longer see their friends in school? Let them know that the new school will also have a bunch of wonderful and talented kids. Are they scared because the new neighborhood won’t support their need to play and have fun? Inform your kids about the amenities accessible to your new home.
- Emphasize the positive side of moving
The idea of moving might be stressful and uneasy for the entire family, but don’t let your kids know that. Sure, you can inform them of the tasks at hand but don’t solely focus on the negatives. Instead, let them understand that although uneasy, moving can also be fun and exciting.
For example, instead of telling your kids that they’ll have to declutter their bedrooms and pack their valuables, let them understand that the task can be their opportunity to give out some of their old clothes and toys to less fortunate kids.
Their fear of losing friends in their current neighborhood can be minimized if you tell them that they can always visit their old friends and regularly video chat with them.
It’ll be easy to ward off your children’s anxiety if they have a positive mindset for the move.
- Visit the new neighborhood with your kids
Convincing your kids that the new neighborhood is better will be hard if they can’t see it with their own eyes. You’ll spend long hours explaining what to expect without any guarantee that they will be on the same page as you.
To make this process easier for everyone, schedule a trip to the new neighborhood, and bring your kids with you. Let them observe how the people are living in the area and accompany them in visiting parks and other amusement areas for the kids. You can even dine in the restaurants near your new home.
Letting your kids see and experience the new neighborhood will make it easier for them to adjust. This experience will allow your kids to manage their expectations and learn how to cope with the process of moving.
Know Your Priorities
Aside from making sure that all of the tasks required for the move are accomplished on time, you should also look after your children’s reaction to the move. While some children understand the idea of moving and would actually want to move somewhere new, others fear the process. If your child is one of the latter, make sure to use this article as your guide.
Moving can be more rewarding if it benefits the entire family, not put your child’s mental health at risk.