Early involvement of the whole family can help!
Younger children who are in school may be understandably reluctant to leave their friends, activities and familiar surroundings to go to a strange new country. Help them understand why you have decided to move and how it will benefit them. Involve them in the planning details, and let them help make small decisions.
Share photos and information about the new area and recreational activities available for children or teens their age – especially activities or sports they currently enjoy. Let them know there will be plenty of fun things for them to do.
Older children and teens may enjoy doing their own online research and learning about the most popular spots and activities. Reassure your children that they will make friends quickly and that they can easily keep in touch with old friends through e-mail, social media and talk live via FaceTime, Skype and more …..
Here are some tips to help you prepare your children for their upcoming move:
- Before you leave, make a final visit to your child’s favorite place(s). You could even bring a camera so your child can hold on to their favorite memories.
- One of the most difficult things about moving for any child is saying goodbye to friends. You could lessen the anxiety of this by hosting a get-together with family, friends, and neighbors and call it a “See You Soon” party. During the party, make sure everyone exchanges contact information and take photos of your kids with their friends. Between texting, e-mails and phone calls, your kids should be able to maintain old friendships while transitioning to their new surroundings and making new friends.
- Try to include the children when making plans for the move. If it’s possible, take them with you when you visit your new city or to see your new home. This may alleviate some of their “fears of the unknown״ – we can help you plan the visit and make sure the kids will get as much information as they should in order to lower the anxiety levels.
- Talking with your children about the move is very important. Encourage them to talk about their feelings; ask them if they feel scared, nervous or apprehensive. Encourage them to ask questions so you can put their minds at ease. If you explain why you are moving, what the new home will be like and the exciting things that will be found in the new area, they may start to feel more optimistic about the experience.
- Research some places like zoos, parks, museums and malls (for the teenagers!) that they might enjoy in their new neighborhood.
- Just before Moving Day, prepare a package for each child with their favorite toys, books, clothing, and snacks. Label it with the child’s name and be sure to keep it handy during the actual move.
- Although you may be tempted to discard their old, tattered toys, you may want to hold on to a few of your child’s favorites. Let them unpack some of these well-loved toys and put them in their new room. Let them decide how his or her room will be arranged and decorated.
- If you can, take a break from setting up your new home and spend as much time with your child as you can. Once they start school, they will be anxious to tell you all about it, their teachers, their classes and all of their experiences.
- Going to a new school may be difficult. You may want to introduce them to new friends before the move – this is part of our services – getting you connected with families that have kids the same age as yours in the same neighborhood.