How to Prepare Children for Relocation

How to Prepare Children for Relocation - Newsday Kenya
How to Prepare Children for Relocation - Newsday Kenya

A move is dramatic enough for adults. Imagine what it is like in the small world of a child. Minimizing the trauma of relocation can be done by allowing the entire family to get involved in the preparations and packing.

Start the Move With an Explanation

Age appropriate information is the first consideration. By having a family meeting that informs everyone of the need or reason for a major move is the first step toward normalizing the situation. Each child’s reaction will be different.

Provide an open environment for the children to express their anxious feelings. One may be concerned about having to leave close friends. Others may be disappointed or angry having to move to a new school. Be patient. Listen closely and respond accordingly.

Introduce Children to the New Location

Once the news has been discussed and concerns addressed, it’s time to bring out the information about the new location.

Do the necessary homework to provide photo’s, maps, school information and community area websites like the Kenyan online casinos portal to introduce the children to the new community. Have specific information about the local schools, entertainment, and neighborhood opportunities. Be optimistic but open to resistance.

How to Prepare Children for Relocation - Newsday Kenya
How to Prepare Children for Relocation – Newsday Kenya

Even better, have the children join in the investigation of the area for a new home, shopping facilities and other related community needs and support services. Design ways for the children to become active participants in the decision making process. This way, they may begin taking ownership of the move; changing those feelings of something happening to them, to a welcome and excited sense of adventure.

Time the Move

The most difficult aspect of moving for most children is having to relocate to an entirely different school. If there is a way to post-pone the move until the summer break, this will go a long way in helping a child to adjust. If that delay is impossible, consider asking a local relative or close friend to temporarily house, especially an older teen, until the school year is finished.

If a summer move works out, invent ways to get the children involved in the neighborhood as quickly as possible. The sooner they make “new” friends the easier the transition will be. This is especially true for elementary aged children who will enjoy going to school with these new play mates.

Moving Can be a Life Teaching Moment

In the age of internet, text messaging and easy photo and video exchanging over the phone, teach children that the old rhyme still holds true…”Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”

Help them gather and organize all the contacts they want to take with them. A note book to collect the various connections on Facebook, Twitter, phone numbers and a physical address will help them to not feel as lonely during the move or neighborhood transition.

Don’t Pack Everything

Every child, of any age, has a few items they will not want to part with when boxing things up for the movers. Allow children to choose their most important items, unless space prohibits, to pack with them. This way they will have the comforting awareness that they can access these familiar items any time they choose while everything else is being removed.

Remind them that this is a temporary situation, and they will see their other favorites once they arrive at their new home.

These tips; explaining the reason for a move, introducing the area, reaffirming friendships and keeping emotionally important items close at hand, should help a child wade through change with less drama and easier assimilation into their new community.

Reduce Relocation Stress With These Strategies

Relocation can be one of a person’s most stressful life experiences. In fact, experts say moving can be as challenging as divorce and death of a loved one.

The Most Challenging Component of Relocation Stress

During a relocation, it is easy to anticipate expenses associated with hiring a moving van, packing and travel to a new destination. In fact, the most expensive part of a relocation can be the recognition that a big mistake has been made, and it is now necessary to return back to the city of origin. Therefore, the best way to save money on relocation is to investigate carefully before moving to a new city, state or region.

Evaluate a Destination Before Beginning the Relocation Process

One reason for relocation is to accept a job offer. Initially, moving to accept a job can seem to have only positive consequences. But in fact relocation often involves adjusting to a new climate or a new lifestyle. Therefore, it is important to invest time in a new location to learn the culture, weather, customs and opportunities for lifestyle expression.

One way to investigate a new location is to visit the city alone, not in the company of a real estate agent or employer representative. A prospective resident can take on the mindset of an anthropologist studying local norms, talking to as many people as possible.

A location will change depending on days of the week and seasons of the year. For a retirement move, it may be practical to explore different months of the year to get a sense of the full range of weather. For a job move, only a week or two may be available.

It is important to observe a town and neighborhood on a weekday and weekend. Streets that are crowded and bustling on a mid-week day may be empty and deserted on a weekend, or vice versa. A town that glows in the sunshine might be dismal and gloomy during a rainy afternoon.

Relocation Calls For Objective Advice

Relocation can be an emotional time. Therefore it is important to stay in touch with an objective friend, family member or paid consultant. It is easy to forget that a geographic change does not necessarily signal a change in temperament or lifestyle preferences. People who like the outdoors will want to go hiking even if they now live in the middle of a city. People who have urban tastes may have trouble convincing themselves to settle for small town life.

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