Many families move homes, whether that is across the city or across the world, and we often expect to quickly adapt to many changes, such as a new home, unfamiliar neighborhood, new kindergarten or school, and friends they have never met. What will make the transition easier and how to help children integrate properly in your new home?
Your journey may begin with an idea to move away. Work opportunities may call you to a completely different country, in which case you may need to consult the advice of an immigration lawyer near you. Once this is all complete, it is time to start preparing the whole family for the move – but once you are armed with the right information and tactics, it doesn’t have to be a difficult process.
Saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new
Most children are helped by the support and guidance of the parent and go through the changes easily and without any type of mental crisis and instability. But in order for the change to be welcomed by everyone, it is vital that you create a step by step process for all children to ensure that they are not feeling too overwhelmed. First, keep in mind that the main difficulty in moving house is the significant change in a stable routine and lifestyle.
My child is under the age of 6, what is best?
For young children, under the age of 6, there is no point in notifying them of the change a long time in advance, as their time perspective is limited anyway, and they do not have the ability to prepare themselves in advance for events. For young children it is enough to announce the expected transition a week or two before it takes place. This way it will feel more exciting, as if it is an adventure, and allow them a small amount of time to process whatever they can.
If your child is 6 and above and has already established friendships and lifestyle, it is worth telling about moving to a new city several months in advance, so that they can prepare themselves emotionally, to separate from friends etc. In any case, it is important that parents share this information with children when they have completely made the decision and things are in place. Children will react differently. Some will be excited, others reserved and both reactions are perfectly normal.
Should my child be involved with our decision making?
Yes, in almost all respects, if they are of the age to understand, then this is important. Children should not be involved in principled decisions involving moving house such as where to move. It is a parental decision that even if it is difficult for us as parents it should not be placed on the shoulders of our children, but at the same time, they should be allowed to share their opinions and express their worries. They may want to come look at houses with you, perhaps they want to look at schools with you also – this is very important. A new life abroad doesn’t have to be difficult, with the correct preparation, it can be a wonderful time.