Yesterday I wrote about talking with your kids about losing your home. So it makes sense that I address moving today.
Moving can be a fairly traumatic event for kids: Lose all of your friends. Lose your home. Lose your school. Lose your favorite teacher. Lose your church. All of this loss without the understanding that parents have as to why the move is happening.
Most parents work toward creating a stable routine for their children. Moving destroys that precious routine.
A few thoughts for you:
Kid’s Stuff: Your child is losing a lot with the move. They may fear that they will be losing all of their toys too. This was the greatest fear that my child had when we moved. Once we reassured her that her toys were going with us, she was pretty happy. It won’t solve everything, but letting them know their stuff is moving too, will help some.
New friends/old friends: Encourage them to make new friends, but help them in this area. Take them to the local playground. Be the first to sign-up for camps or retreats. Relationships don’t happen overnight and they won’t happen without work on your part. Old friends – allow your child to talk with their old friends. Work it out with a parent to Skype or FaceTime. We don’t want to teach that relationships are just disposable, but that they continue on in a new way.
Find a church: When I resigned from my church position I thought “let’s go church shopping”. In my mind I thought we would visit a bunch of churches and learn from this experience. It took me about a week to figure out church shopping wasn’t healthy for my family especially my kids. I want them to have the stability of the same church family each week. We found a church we loved the next week and got involved in their ministries. It was the healthiest thing that I did for my child.
Adventure: Most kid’s love a good adventure. Moving to a new area is an adventure. Tell them you are going to find something new and fun to do with them when you get to your new location. Find something fun for the family to do together after you move. Most areas have multiple websites that will tell you what is happening in the area. Sometimes locals will know what is happening, but many times they aren’t paying attention.
Like with all tough talks there isn’t a magic answer or solution for each problem. Do the best you can and allow the Lord to work in your kid’s heart.