Moving has been scientifically proven to be one of the top stressors in anyone’s lives. Don’t believe us? Take it from the experts at American Institute of Stress and the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory that indicates that a change in living conditions is extraordinarily stressful. As a life-changing event, it is no surprise that moving ranks highly on their list.
Not only are there constant worries about the actual physical move, but also the adjustment to a new location, job, schools, and friend groups. The unknowns are countless when moving to somewhere new.
This stress is evident whenever we meet with clients arranging for movers to facilitate the event. We also see the stress in the children who don’t have a whole lot of control over the moving and adjusting process. That’s why we have put together this quick guide to help your child adjust to a move, whether it is across the country or across town.
While a child may not have a lot of input into whether a move will take place or not, they should be allowed to express their feelings – good and bad. Depending on the age of the child there may be concerns about losing friendships, changing schools, and adjusting to a new community. Give your kids a chance to talk about their worries, concerns, or fears. Sometimes, that alone will make them feel better. Talk about each issue and how you can handle it as a family or what other people do who find themselves in similar situations.
When talking with your child, be sure to talk about your feelings as well. Explain both the positive exciting aspects of making a move: the fresh start, a new city, new friends, new experiences as well as the things that you are worried about. Knowing that they are not alone in having these feelings can help.
Visit Before the Move
The unknown can be a scary thing, so be sure to get rid of as many unknowns as you can. Visit your new community if possible. Check out the schools, shadow another student, find out where shopping is, get the lay of the land, and find new places that you love to eat and play. While you may not have time to visit all the places that will make your child feel like they belong, you can hit some highlights like a local park, zoo, museum, or library. For older tweens and teens, find some of the activities that they like in your new community. If your child is into sports, check out the new fields at their school. The more you can help your child visualize fitting in and enjoying the move, the better.
Maintain Contact With Old Community
Many children, especially older children who have long-lasting friendships, need to know that they are not cutting ties completely. Remind them about technology such as Facetime, phones, texting, and through gaming devices, that they can stay in communication with old friends. In today’s digital world, breaking ties does not have to happen. Schedule visits to maintain those friendships and allow transition time for your child.
You know your child best, so be flexible to help them adjust to a move that can be stressful on everyone involved. Try not to let your stress rub off on your children or add a negative aspect to the move.
If you need help packing/unpacking or with the move itself, remember that Mastodon Moving specializes in moving your family long distance or down the street. Give us a call at 774-421-9004 or visit our website.