Moving is always hard on kids, maybe even harder than it is on mom and dad because they have no life experiences to gauge a move by. The unknown is always a frightening prospect and even teenagers can rebel to leaving family and friends behind. Unfortunately, who can blame them? If you are trying to get your kids at least accepting of the move, if not excited by it, here are a few things you can do to make it a bit easier on all involved.
1) Promise Them Video Chats Frequently
At the moment, you are reading this online. This means you obviously have access to the internet and whether you are here via smartphone or computer, you can still open up some kind of video chat so that your kids can stay in touch with friends back home. In fact, your older kids probably have their own smartphones and laptops or tablets, so remind them that their friends are only one Facetime away. If they are like the average teen in America, they spend upwards of 9 hours a day on social media!
2) Postcards from Your New Neighborhood
Grade school kids are still thrilled about sending and receiving mail via the United States Post Office. Maybe because it’s something tangible that they can hold in their hands, or maybe it’s because they are already burnt out on social media (yes even in third or fourth grade!), but for whatever reason, kids really do like mail! Take your cell phone around the neighborhood to get some pictures of your new area. Turn them into postcards your kids can send to friends back home. They can even be designed on a web server and printed at home on your local printer. To get an idea of the various free templates available, click here.
3) Offer Them One Adventure a Week
While everyone is so busy getting set up in your new location, sometimes it’s easy to forget that your kids are not mobile like you are. They go to school, come home and play with any new friends they might have met at school. If not, television and Facebook become their BFFs and that’s not a good thing at all! What you can do is offer to take them on one adventure a week. Together, look at travel sites because this is where you will find the best listing of “What to Do” and “What to See” in literally any city on earth. From there, you can pick and choose kid-friendly places to explore and that should pique their interest throughout the coming week.
No, moving isn’t easy on the kids but with a little creativity and a lot of compassion, you can get them to accept the move a little more readily. They may not be happy about it but with some extra care and a bit of time on your part, you might even get them excited about moving somewhere they’ve never been. Just remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It may take time, but eventually they’ll meet new friends and settle in. It’s just a matter of time.