« Articles « « On the Move: Helping Children When Relocating
Leaving behind a place you know as home and the connections you’ve made there can be difficult for almost anyone. For children, it can take an even bigger toll. Even if you’ve moved your family before, your child may not be ready to move again. Or, if you’re moving to another country, your child might not know what to expect. Here are ways you can help your child throughout your relocation.
Have a conversation before the move
It’s easier to handle a stressful situation when there’s time to mentally prepare for it. Talk to your child about what moving will be like, including the good and the bad. This is your opportunity to address any issues and start coming up with potential solutions. Be sure to emphasize the good that can come from change.
Help your child look forward to the move by providing information about your new home and the area. Consider creating a calendar to mark off the days until the move with a fun fact about your destination. You could share photos of landmarks, restaurants they might like to try, the name of their new street, details about their new school and more.
Provide Time to Say Goodbye
If there are favorite hangouts near your current home, provide your child the opportunity to see them before you leave. Maybe that means getting ice cream at the local shop or visiting the local park for a final swing. Whatever the places, try to make time for these visits.
Give Opportunities for Control
Since your child didn’t get to choose whether they wanted to move or not, they may be feeling a sense of insecurity. Give your child opportunities to feel more in control with exercises that give them choice. For example, they can select old clothes or toys to get rid of, help sort and pack their belongings, and choose the color of their new room.
After Moving, Establish Normalcy
When you get to your new place, there might be an overwhelming list of things to do. For the sake of your child, it helps to establish some sense of normalcy. Younger children in particular do well with routine. So right from your first days after the move, keep regular mealtimes and bedtimes. It also helps to make the house feel familiar as soon as possible. You can do this by putting pictures up on the wall and decorating your child’s room like in the old house.
Connect With the Community
Living on base can give your family the opportunity to attend on-base community events. They can be a great way for kids to meet others who share similar experiences. Your child can also make connections by getting involved in a sport or activity, whether on or off base. It’s important for children to establish roots in a community, even if your move is only temporary. These connections can help your child thrive.
Stay Positive and Loving
Throughout the move, set an example for your child and keep a positive attitude. Reassure your child by looking at your situation positively. You should also shower your child with extra love to let them know they aren’t forgotten in this stressful time.
Set Your Family Up for Financial Success
Just as planning ahead is important when you move to a new home, planning ahead is also key for your family’s financial future. At Navy Federal, it’s our mission to put you on the path to financial success. Use our tips to create a financial strategy for your family that will guide you through all stages of life.