By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
It is incredibly fun to have a new neighborhood to live. Especially when the move is better than your current home.
But kids may not look at things the same as you, particularly if they have close chums and/or family where they live now. The thought of moving to a new school and away from current relationships can create a bunch of apprehension in children.
While it can be tough for children to move away from familiar people, places, and things, there are things you need to do to ease the transition to Little Rock.
Be sure they know about each point along the path. Children must feel secure to express their fears as well as asking questions so be able to offer info and answer any questions they might have. While a number of their thoughts and worries could be negative, be prepared with empathy and optimistic answers. Take care not to discount their worries but, instead, recognize their concerns and provide ways that you can work together to overcome them.
Introduce Them to Their New Home in Little Rock
When possible, let them visit the new community and even to the new home. Let them get a feel for where they will be moving to. If it's not a possibility to go to the new residence and neighborhood, take pictures or videos so they'll have an impression of what the new place will look like. Be positive to mention all of the good elements of the move (larger rooms, huge yard, etc.).
Take them for a Tour of the School
It may not be a possibility to do this physically, but most schools in America have a website. Go to the local school board's website and you'll likely find links to your child(ren's) new school(s). Explain to them the various school clubs and activities that they will be able to participate in. School can be a big cause of stress for children and also an impactful part of their lives, so it is important that they are feeling comfortable before their first day at a new school. If you're able to take them on an actual tour of the new school, be sure to introduce them to key players like the principals and guidance counselors.
Involve Them in Packing
There are plenty of age-appropriate ways that kids can be involved in the chore of packing up. Allow them to help you pack up their personal possessions in moving boxes and have them label the boxes of their stuff. (A perk is they can pick through their belongings and donate or trash stuff that they no longer need.)
Stick with Routines
Moving to Little Rock may be a crazy and tiring occasion for parents but don't let this deter you from staying with the same recognizable schedules the kids are used to. Children require predictability to feel safe and moving time is one of those times when it's absolutely necessary. Since they're already experiencing a time of unpredictability by moving to an unfamiliar place, it is very crucial to keep as many things familiar as possible.
Decorate Their Rooms First
Kids need organization and familiarity so it is a good idea that their new rooms be as familiar to them as possible. By making their new bedrooms first priority, you establish them as valued parts of a new life. Involving them in the process fortifies this need and helps them to feel cared about and “at home”.
Investigate the New Neighborhood
Guide your children in getting to know the new lay of the land, landmarks, and neighbors. Encourage them to meet new friends and grasp the layout of the new area so they don't feel quite so lost.
When parents stress, kids stress. That's why it's a good idea to do everything you can think of to ensure you do not feel stressed out, yourself. By hiring a professional moving company to aid you in your household move, you remove a lot of the stress from your shoulders so you can concentrate more on the vital stuff.
The end game when moving with children is to make sure they are feeling safe and secure. If you take every moment to help them see the good side of the move and get excited about it, your chances of making them feel cherished are magnified and they will be much happier embracing your new residence in Little Rock.