Having the “We’re Moving” Conversation with your Kids
So you and your spouse decided to move and it’s time to tell the kids. Whether you are single or married, and your children are of school age, it’s always hard to figure out how you are going to break it to the kids. They probably have made important friendships in school and if they are teenagers, it’s going to be much harder to break it to them. High school is the time where kids look forward to these years of making new friends and holding on to long-lasting relationships for life. Many people have kept in touch with their friends from high school well into their 80’s. This could be a great opportunity for you and your family if you are moving due to a job transfer. This can be very exciting and scary at the same time. This might be the promotion you or your spouse have been waiting for. In addition, you might have decided that you needed a larger home and wanted to move your children into a different area, and although the opportunities and possibilities are endless, you are still stressing about telling the kids.
Here are a few tips that might help you break the news to your kids gently.
Moving is stressful and there is no doubt about that with all the cleaning and details involved in moving. You know how hard this is for you but think about the kids and their emotions about moving. Some children might feel unsure of their security when you tell them it’s time to move, while others find it an adventure. A child’s home is their sense of security because they know and feel the love of their family in this home. Moving might create thoughts of wondering if all these secure feelings are going to be the same or go away with the move.
If you have teenagers, it’s all about leaving good friends, special instructors, familiarity with their school and the rules and the changes are difficult for them to comprehend. Children both younger and older are going to have some emotions about moving so here are some things you can do to help them adjust.
It’s important to tell your kids you are moving as soon as you know and tell them you need their help. Kids are going to ask many questions and wonder why you decided to move to be ready to explain why. If they understand that you told them first, they will feel more important and secure about moving.
You can decide to have a family meeting and make sure you do this at home. A public place is too impersonal. The importance of telling your kids in their home is so they can talk about their feelings within the family without strangers listening. You can choose the area of your home where you have all of your family fun so they feel good about the discussion. Try to present the news as casual as possible.
It’s ok if your kids become emotional and cry and that is to be expected. Don’t shut them down and let them ask all the questions they want and if one or two of the kids run into their safe spots and are angry, let it be. You have to listen now because this is all new to them and parents have to provide sound reassurance about the move. Children want to be listened to.
If both you and your spouse start to worry behind closed doors, never let the kids know you are worrying. Be strong and positive whenever they come to you about fear or concern, even though you both are experiencing the same fears and concerns. If the kids sense any problems, they will worry and feel more insecure than they already do. Talk about your fears to a friend or your significant other. Don’t talk anywhere where the kids can listen because they are good at trying to listen to adults talking.
Make sure your kids understand everything that is going on with the move. Provide as many details as you can and even tell them your choice of movers. Don’t give out all of the information because they can become fearful, but just give enough details so they feel comfortable. Let them think about the initial shock before you start dumping too much information on them.
When parents feel that the kids fully understand that this is the decision then it’s time to let them ask whatever they want and parents should make sure they are up on their research and have all the answers about the move. Be truthful and if you can’t answer the question, volunteer that you will get them the answer as soon as you can. It’s important that kids know that you are there for them and you want to know how they are feeling about all of this information concerning the move. They might what to tell you what they are thinking and their expectations of what they want out of the move. Parents should make sure that they start an open conversation and let the family join in and take turns asking questions. Make sure all family members are included and can voice their concerns. Treat all the kids the same no matter how old they are and include every one of them in this conversation.
Make sure you remind your family that you are all a tight unit and you all have to work together to achieve an end result. Parents should make sure they are positive if any of their kids are still upset and listen to them because it’s important to them.
The most important aspect of the move is for parents to remain positive throughout the whole endeavor. Tell your kids what great and exciting opportunities are going to be available to them especially if you are moving to another state where the weather is different and the culture is different as well. Tell your kids what a great learning experience this will be and all the benefits they will have that the area you currently reside in doesn’t provide. Keep your word and don’t tell them anything that you can’t do for them.
It might be a good idea to have regular get-togethers with your kids to parents can fill them in with the progress of the move. The kids might have something to contribute and you can ask them how they are coming along with their packing. The more you talk to your children, the more they will feel like they are a team working together and kids love to help their parents when they are assigned regular tasks. They also feel special when they know they are a part of everything their parents decide.