Written by: Arika Ford
Our children mimic our behavior and as parents, we are their first teachers in life with a strong influence over them for many of their developmental years. The years when our children are growing and developing can be tumultuous at times, there may be many ups and downs, but it is crucial to stay positive.
Moving is a big life change and can be extremely overwhelming for adults and children. Sometimes, families move as a result of less than ideal situations, such as divorce, job loss, or other changes that makes this stressful event even worse. It is imperative we remain calm and positive, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our children whom we love and want to succeed in all things. Below are simple efforts you can do to keep calm, and maintain your game face for your kids during the move!
Maintain normalcy-If you regularly have a family movie night or game night, I encourage you to keep it scheduled and to not be tempted to cancel it. This is time well spent bonding and relaxing with your family. Many feelings and emotions can come out during normal activities with your kids and move time can bring on a lot of those. It is in everyone’s best interest that kids have a time to express their emotions verbally to you so they don’t act them out physically. Even if you ask them what is wrong, they are likely not able to vocalize their emotions simply because they don’t have an understanding of what they are feeling or why. For these reasons and many others, keep a normal schedule as much as possible for as long as possible. Children feel secure with a routine. Play a moving game with them, get the toy trucks out and play “moving to a new house”. Who knows, you may enjoy it more than they do, and find it as a good way to release emotions as well.
Maintain positivity-If you are managing a move, you are likely dealing with an increased number of people, who may not seem as sensitive to your situation as you would like. This can easily build up frustration as your patience is being spent on interacting and managing your feelings around strangers. If you need a release, be sure you aren’t taking it out on your children. It is important we are aware of our own emotions during this time. We must remain positive, especially in front of our kids, and sometimes that means we need to have a little alone time to wind down. It’s okay to do that! If you need to talk with your spouse, siblings, or best friend to vent a little in order to come full circle in your own thoughts and feelings, do it! Be sure you also reflect on the positive side of things as this will not only help you, but your family as well.
Keep them involved-Moving is scary. Young kids may not understand what is happening, and there’s a good chance they’re nervous, too. “What’s the new house going to be like? Will I make friends there? What if no one likes me?” These are all common questions that go through kids’ minds. Keep your children involved throughout the moving process, tell them what their new home will be like and keep them updated throughout the move. You can even have them help you get packing done to prepare for the move!
Maintain work life-Yes it is tempting to use work time to handle all of the moving business we must take care of such as changing your address for the entire family, or finding new local schools, stores, or the many other searches we can conduct online to sooth our nerves about an upcoming move into an unfamiliar area. But don’t do it! Now is not the time to slack at your job, you must keep up with deadlines and the pace to maintain business as usual. Don’t be sucked into conducting personal business while on the clock. Of course take care of important needs after the workday or during lunch breaks, however keep a regular schedule as much as possible, and take the time to learn exciting new places of interest once you have settled into your new home. Make it a fun event by taking the family out to explore as a fun way to relax once the move is said and done.
Playing creative and fun games with your kids during this time can certainly ease their stress, which will in turn, ease yours. Just remember to stay positive about all moving aspects, there is a bright side to most things in life and moving can definitely be one of those bright sides! To make moving with kids even more stress-free and positive, hire a professional moving company to take the stress away on move day.
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