Moving home soon? Here’s how to break the news to your children
Sep 10 2018
Moving home is stressful enough for adults. Imagine what it must be like for a child.
For children, moving is especially difficult because more often than not, they do not have a say in the decision. Parents usually make the decision and let the kids know.
Depending on how old your child is, they react to the news in different ways.
The kids’ reaction also depends on how you break the news to them.
Younger children usually take the news well. They might still be sad and upset. Moving away from their friends, school and everything they’re so comfortable with, seem scary to them.
Teens, on the other hand, might react angrily and throw tantrums. This is mostly because they’re at a stage in life where they’re probably closer to their friends than family. The fear of being lonely and friend-less in a new place is what fuels the anger.
Moving is a major lifestyle change for the whole family.
To make sure it doesn’t turn out to be a miserable experience for the children, parents need to be extremely careful when breaking the news.
One of the most common mistakes parents make, is not talking about it, at all. You can’t simply break the news and expect them to be okay with it. It is natural for them to have questions and concerns. As parents, it is your responsibility to help them through it.
How can you make sure your child doesn’t feel lonely or miserable about the move?
Here are 5 tips you could use.
- Pick the right time and place to break the news
- Tell them why you’re moving
- Ask them how they feel about it
- Show them ways to keep in touch with friends
- Be honest with them
Picking the right place and the right time to tell your kids about the move is the most important thing.
Before talking to them about it, ask them if they’re free and willing to talk. You don’t want to interrupt them in the middle of planning a playdate or when they’re already stressed about homework, right?
Ideally, talk to them about the move when they’re at home, comfortable and in a good mood.
Break the news patiently, and don’t lose your cool if the way they react isn’t what you expected.
It is also important that you give them enough time coming to terms with the news. If you’ve been planning the move for more than a month, don’t tell your kids about it only a week before. Just like adults, kids also need time to prepare for the move. As parents, it is extremely important that you respect that.
Telling your kids that you’re moving is confusing enough for them. Don’t make matters worse by not telling them why.
If you think your kids are too young to understand the actual reason, tell them something that’s closest to the truth. Don’t lie and make it look like something completely different.
In an attempt to protect their kids, this is one of the most common mistake parents make. Being honest with your kids about the reason for moving is the best way to help them understand why it is so important for the family.
Once you’ve told them about it, expect them to be sad, upset, angry or even walk away.
Don’t force them to sit with you and talk about it immediately. Give them time and space. If they wish to be alone for a while, let them be. If they burst out in tears, comfort them.
Talk to them whenever they’re ready. Ask them how they feel. Assure them that you’re always there for them. And they can talk to you any time.
Older kids and teens are, probably, already texting with friends or chatting with them on social media.
Younger children who don’t have access to the internet yet, will be worried about not being able to keep in touch with friends. Talk to them about how they can use your mobile to call their friends. Or write letters and emails to them.
If you aren’t moving to a place very far away, see if it’s possible for the kids to come meet their friends. But don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Your kids might have questions you aren’t expecting. Or they might say something you weren’t expecting them to say.
They might even ask you what your own worries and concerns are. The best way to deal with it is to be honest with them.
If you’re worried and concerned, don’t make it look like you aren’t. In fact, sharing your own concerns with them, will make them comfortable with their own emotions.
Talking about the move with your children can be stressful.
You might also feel guilty or sad about having to put them through this. But eventually, you are moving because it’ll make everyone’s lives better. Never forget that.
Just like you took time to make up your mind about the move your kids, too, will take time to let the news sink in. The key is to help each other and cherish this experience as a family.
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If you’re moving home soon, you might also like to read more moving tips.
- 5 international relocation questions answered by move experts at Glovve
- Do I need storage solution when moving to a new house?
- 3 simple steps to finding your dream home in a new city
- 7 steps to get on top of your local relocation worries
- A good, or a bad idea: Renting furniture and appliances when you move
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I never thought telling kids about home moving would be a big issue. Guess it only is an issue if kids have friends in the building/ neighborhood.