Moving can be exceptionally stressful and difficult for children. Unlike adults, they probably don't understand many of the good reasons for a move and instead focus on all the uncomfortable changes like a new school, new house, and all of the friends they are leaving behind. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help your children adjust to your new move.
Focus First On Their Bedroom
Kids normally feel the safest and most comfortable in their bedroom. Into help them gain this feeling more quickly in their new surroundings, allow them to play a part in arranging and decorating their room. This will help them to feel as if it really is 'their' room rather than just another new place.
You also want to surround them with all of their furniture, toys, and everything they really liked from their old room. Of course, you should also point out new features that might make this room even better than they have been used to.
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Establish New Routines Quickly
We all love routines. They make us feel comfortable. By helping kids with consistent bedtimes, meal times, and even play time they should be able to adjust much easier and more quickly. Without having routines established children can feel quickly overcome by a sense of chaos and not knowing what to do.
Get Them Familiar With New Neighborhood
Obviously, you have done your homework ahead of time, researching the new location and new schools, so you know everything will be a strong and safe environment for your kids. So, get out there and help them to start becoming familiar with their new neighborhood. Here are some suggestions:
- Find some fun activities to do together like mini golf or bowling
- Explore some new local ice cream shops or places to eat
- Take them with you when going grocery shopping and maybe ride around looking at the sites
- Explore local parks and other interesting attractions
- Stop by the local school(s) and see about orientation programs for new arrivals
You want to really try hard to find fun and enjoyable things for your kids to do, see and experience in the new area. First impressions are important, so make them good ones! Even just going on a walk together to explore the area immediately surrounding the home can be helpful.
Making New Friends
This is a big step. While you can't do it for them, you can help guide the little ones towards making new friends. Start by setting up play dates with coworkers or families from your kids' school. Maybe try and find some local sports teams or other activities (through school or local/county organizations). There is also nothing stopping you from just going to the immediate neighbors (with the kids) and introducing yourself. That might even help you to adjust to the new surroundings!