A new chapter in life brings excitement, but also adaptation issues with kids. Even if theres no problematic reason for this relocation such as divorce or job loss, kids can feel rather negative about the whole process. And it doesnt make it easier on parents whatsoever. They need to balance their job, move the organization and deal with their kids feelings. However, if you know what to do and how to react, you can make this a lot easier. With the right support, your kids can accept whats happening without a hitch. So heres what to do if theres an upcoming relocation in your family - read the tips on how to help kids adapt to a new neighborhood and start a new life chapter without any issues.
Make Sure You’ve Accepted the Changes
The way you feel and act will probably reflect on your kids behavior. Especially with younger children, their moods and thoughts are influenced by what they see and hear from their parents. Thats why you need to act calmly and firmly through the moving process, assuring them that theres nothing to worry about. Moving house is a total change of environment, both physical and social, and can be tough for everyone in the family. The best way to avoid panic and bursts of emotion is to make sure you prepare for your move in advance. Do your best to organize each step of the way to minimize risks of complications and hectic times before and after the moving day.
Don’t Change Their Routine
Change in the environment doesnt need to be the reason to do things differently. Kids love their routines as those give them the feeling of safety and predictability, so be sure to keep up with their meals, playtime, and bedtime routines. Dont disrupt their previous habits and routines, and if possible - think about the new ones you can introduce. A new house may give you space to try out some new traditions your kids will enjoy and that will help them get used to the new living space better.
Set up Their Safe Space
Your kids probably dont care about the new kitchen or hardwood floors. All they care about is their new room, so make sure they like it from the moment you arrive. So, to help kids adapt to a new neighborhood, make sure they love their new home and room first. Experts at Movers Not Shakers suggest you let kids participate in the moving and packing process and make decisions related to their new space. Before you move, you can ask them to help you with decluttering old toys, packing, picking colors, and decorations. This is one step closer to adapting to the new house and feeling like they really belong there. Also, be sure to unpack their room before any other room in the house. This way they can have a safe space where they can play, watch TV or read while you deal with the rest of the house.
Explore the New Neighborhood – Before and After the Moving Day
Coming into the unknown is the reason why everyone might feel stressed and afraid, especially the little ones. Thats why you can try to make the new home as familiar as possible, even before the move. If youre moving close enough that you can visit, go to the new home a couple of times before you relocate. Walk around and explore the neighborhood together. Check out the local stores, have a meal and a restaurant nearby, or visit a toy store for a souvenir - do fun activities that will assure your little ones that the place is great. If youre moving long-distance, the internet can help a lot. Kids will love a virtual tour of their new neighborhood as they can scroll through the maps and get to know the area better.
Talk to the Neighbors
Social contact is a great ice-breaker when it comes to adapting to a new environment, both for adults and kids. Walk around the new neighborhood and introduce yourselves to your neighbors. Your kids can even make a present for them, or you can bring some baked goodies. Seeing that you are willing to take a step towards becoming a part of the new community will help them relax about their adaptation as well. If there are neighbors with kids in the building or in your street, feel free to invite them over for some playtime.
Check Out the New School
If your kids are school-age, they may be dreading the first couple of days at the new school. Help them check it out before they start going to school, so they familiarize themselves with the place a bit. Visit the school together, meet the teachers, check out the schoolyard, etc. Make sure they are not totally lost on their first day but feel confident about meeting their new schoolmates.
Give it Time
Moving house is very overwhelming for the little ones. They often cant understand why youre disrupting their familiar environment, and they will feel bad about leaving their old room, friends, and school. Parents need to be very patient here and let their kids express sadness, but also help them cope with their grief. Support them with saying their goodbyes, and organizing a farewell party, but also with steps that come after the moving day. It takes time to adjust and accept the changes, so dont expect it to happen overnight.
Finally, to help kids adapt to a new neighborhood, community, and school is to know how they feel. Open communication will help you find out more about their fears and stress, so you can react accordingly and help them deal with it. Talk about their feelings but dont forget to share yours as well. Seeing that their parents are going through the adaptation process will help them feel better about themselves and accept the changes easily.
meta: Learn how to help kids adapt to a new neighborhood with the right kind of support and moving plan - make this new life chapter exciting for the whole family.