Moving for work can be the best thing to do for your family. Unfortunately, not all kids feel that moving is good. Nicole L. Voigt, the author of "My Moving Activity Journal," has five tips to help your children look forward to and enjoy the relocation process:
1. Get the kids involved
"Making young movers an important part of the process will help them feel more important and secure at a very busy time," says Voigt. She recommends giving your children simple tasks that will give them a sense of control over the situation. "When packing, kids can label boxes, scrunch newspaper, and tape boxes," Voigt says. For children looking for more creative tasks, Voigt says, "Kids can make change-of-address cards, decorate a book for recording contact information, and research places to visit after moving."
2. Use activities to entertain and engage young movers
To get children into the moving mindset, Voigt recommends talking candidly about the move. "Drawing pictures related to the move and asking questions about the pictures will encourage conversation," says Voigt. Along with getting your kids to talk about their feelings, Voigt also suggests giving your children fun activities. "Encourage kids to make a scrapbook of friends, activities, and favorite places paired with a matching scrapbook of new activities and places awaiting them near their new address," Voigt says. "These activities and conversations will reduce moving anxiety."
3. Get excited about the future
Your children won't look forward to the move if you're not excited for it. Voigt suggests having your kids do some research about their new town to get them familiar with their new surroundings. "Collecting information will turn the unknown into something to look forward to, easing the grief of leaving friends and familiar places behind," says Voigt. "Just imagine how exciting driving into your new town will be if your child has already picked a new restaurant to try!"
4. Start your new life before you move
"Both change and good-byes are much easier when you have things to look forward to," says Voigt. "If possible, take a trip in advance to meet people and visit places in your new town." This will make moving seem less frightening and uncertain. Voigt also suggests reaching out to your children's schools for assistance. "Get references for potential pen-pals with similar interests and encourage your kids to exchange letters or emails." This will help your kids make some new friends before your family gets to its new home.
5. Keep it simple!
There's no need to make things complicated for your kids. The simpler, the better! "Each parent knows the child best," says Voigt, "And matching the child's interests with helpful moving tasks is a win-win for all involved!"
"Moving should be an opportunity to thrive, not something to survive," Voigt adds. "With guidance from parents, children can learn, help, and have fun during the relocation process."