7 Ways to Help Your Kid Adjust to a New City
Moving to a new city can be challenging for many people, especially children. They are leaving friends and familiar routines behind. In addition, a residential move can be particularly challenging for teens who are already amid other transitions, such as puberty.
Fortunately, parents can make the transition easier. Here are seven ways to help your child adjust to a new city.
Involve Them in the Planning
Fear of the unknown can be powerful. Involving children in the planning gives them a sense of control and alleviates anxiety. Planning also gives them information about the new city, which will make it less frightening. For example, you may let the child decide about decorating their room or help you plan the route to the new home.
Honor Their Feelings
Your child may be sad or angry when you first announce the move. Acknowledge those feelings even as you reassure them. For example, you might say, "This is a big change, and you will miss your friends. But, the good news is that you'll be able to make new friends.
You can honor grief by creating goodbyes rituals. For example, take photos of friends or go to your favorite spots in your old city to bid farewell.
Once you have packed everything onto the truck, go to each room in your old house and say goodbye.
Create Games Around the New Place
One way to help children adjust is to make a game of it. For example, playing hide and seek in the new home will help younger children begin to feel comfortable. A fun family activity might be to sample local pizza restaurants and vote on the best.
Another idea is to create a book, story, or play about the move, making your child and family the main characters. End the book with a positive look at the new place. Children's books about moving can be the inspiration for creating your own story.
Practice Self Care
If you are anxious or stressed, your child will pick up on those feelings. You also can't be patient with your child if you are tired or feel bad. Be sure to take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat properly, and give yourself some downtime.
Enjoy Family Activities
Once you arrive in your new city, plan some family outings. Go to the local zoo, have a picnic in the park, ride bikes, volunteer, or take walks in the neighborhood. Go to the library together and get a library card for each child.
Keep Familiar Routines and Spaces
As much as possible, keep the child's schedule the same. The more predictable the schedule is, the easier the adjustment.
Being surrounded by familiar objects also helps the child adjust. Load the boxes for the child's room onto the truck last and take those cartons off first so that you can set up their room as soon as you arrive.
Help Them Stay in Touch
Children will make friends in the new city, but doing so will take time. So when you first move, help them set up Facetime, or Skype calls with old friends to stay connected. Over time, they'll focus less on old friends and more on new ones.
A family move can be very challenging. Spend more time helping your family prepare and acclimate by letting professional movers handle the moving concerns. Contact us for a free quote.