Relocating with Children
Any one of these can be stressful.
All at once can be overwhelming.
Then of course if you are also assisting your partner or children relocate, then the challenges can multiply.
Relocating with children. This can be the toughest part for relocating parents. Because children are not mini-me’s, nor can they necessarily see the long-term benefits of a move.
Rarely do children like change. Many adults don’t either.
Tips for relocating with children
Before you leave, involve children in the lead up to the big change – let them know why the family is moving. Let them help pack, decide what to take, and decide where to put their personal and precious things in the new location.
Try putting yourself in their shoes. Talk with them. If that’s not easy to achieve, chatting while engaging in one-on-one activity may yield better results, like walking along a beach or playing a board game. Taking away the additional pressure of eye contact and body language may help their words flow easier. Or suggest they write it down to share with you. Or draw it. Adults often gain so much from journaling or freeing their creative side – children do too.
Strengthen the family relationship. Perhaps start a family joke book. Or have a regular meeting so everyone is heard. Cook a meal together. Or allow each member the chance to pick an activity for the weekend.
Take mementos from the last location they can enjoy at the next, such as photos, certificates, farewell cards or a visual diary, so they can feel connected and purposeful. This is a fine way for children to have their own stories to tell, also priming them for a changeable future.
After the move, help them keep in touch with old friends while encouraging opportunities with new ones. Arrange play dates and park outings with people who also have children and this may just help you find new friends too.