5 Ways to Help Kids Transition During a Move

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5 Ways to Help Kids Transition During a Move

Now that school is out, Summer can also be known for the time of year families move. While long distance moves can be full of logistical details, all of that can pale in comparison to shepherding your kids through the emotional challenges of pulling up (and laying down) roots. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, here are 5 ways you can help your kids through the transition.

  1. Say “farewell” in a big way.

Take time to visit all the places you neglected to visit and see while you lived there. Rent an RV and road trip it, visiting all sorts of curiosities along the way. You will make some great memories and all the time together will get you talking about all the new adventures that await. Going all out doesn’t require a road trip- it can be as simple as spending intentional time with your favorite people in your favorite places. Or doing things at home that you always wanted to but never did- like having a neighborhood-wide water fight in the backyard or building an epic fort/maze in the basement. Making memories as a family helps kids realize that while places might change, the family is where they truly belong.

  1. Learn about your new locale.

Often times after first moving somewhere, you become more focused on where the Target is instead of enjoying yourself in your new locale. Keeping kids excited about new adventures helps to shake feelings of anxiety about living somewhere unfamiliar. If you can, become a tourist in your new hometown before you get there. And if you can’t, check out books, tour guides, and maps of nearby places to explore as a family when you arrive. Don’t forget to keep yourselves looking ahead by making your family exploration “bucket list.”

  1. Let your kids make some decisions too.

Allowing your kids to take ownership of small decisions helps them feel empowered about the changes to come, rather than feeling powerless. Draw up a schematic of your child’s new room and/or play spaces, let them pick the paint color. Talk with them about how they would decorate the room(s) and where they might like to put the furniture.

  1. Pray, talk…and pray some more.

Talk to your kids regularly about their excitement and fears surrounding the move. Relate to your kids and allow them to be candid. If they are upset about leaving friends, let them know that you are too. Pray with them about their fears. Read about folks in the Bible who had to move and didn’t want to, emphasizing the fact that God had great plans for them (i.e. Abraham). Be proactive about addressing separation from those left behind, like making plans to become pen pals or arranging for visitors to come shortly after you are settled in.

  1. Get out there with gusto.

After you move, it can seem like the mountain of moving boxes that need unpacking is endless. It can be tempting to hunker down and unpack every last box before venturing out in your new surroundings. But where’s the fun in that? Take care of the essentials (like kitchen and clothes) and then get out there. Eat at a place the locals eat. Meet families in your neighborhood. Visit some of those “bucket list” spots- and use pictures of your excursions as postcards for your “back home” pen pals! The boxes can wait. After all, what’s in them isn’t truly what makes a place feel like home anyway.

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