It is important to prepare our children well for this battle so that everything goes well. Whether the circumstances surrounding the move are happy or not, the child experiences a loss of control over his life, as well as big changes.
How to manage the ups and downs of such an uprooting without too much disruption? Here are our tips to make your move as smooth as possible .
Talking about moving with your child
As soon as possible, talk about the upcoming move and explain to your child what it entails. Children need time to process information and ask questions that bother them. If the reaction is negative, try to understand what scares him.
Read also: Well-organized move: where to start
How will the children react?
A child’s reactions to change can depend on several factors:
- the nature of the change;
- its ability to adapt;
- his ability to manage stress and emotions;
- his temperament;
- the quality of his attachment relationship with his parents;
- the efforts that the parents will make to listen to the child and help him adapt.
How has your child reacted to the other changes he has had to go through in his life so far? For example, how did he react when he switched from breastfeeding or bottle-feeding to solid food, when you introduce him to new foods, when he meets new people, when he integrates his first daycare at the end of your maternity leave ? And when a change worries him, does he react positively to your attempts to reassure him? Your answers to these questions can give you a good idea of his reaction to the move.
For babies and toddlers, parents are more important than the environment. Their reaction to the change of residence will probably be minimal. They will, however, react to your stress. Toddlers have a certain attachment to objects, smells and colors. We therefore try to minimize stress by not changing the decoration of their room too much and by keeping pillows, comforters, comforters and stuffed animals.
Read also: Baby sleep and moving: how to ease the transition
School-aged children and adolescents
It is the 7-12 year olds who usually react the strongest. They have a network of friends, they are attached to them. They will be afraid of losing these ties forever and of not making any more friends. We reassure them that we will be able to keep in touch with the friends in one way or another. We note postal addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses in a beautiful notebook for our child. You can personalize each page by adding the photo of the friend in question.
Teenagers will express their disagreement or criticize the new planned destination. However, the adventurous side of this change may end up stimulating them. And, at their age, it is easier to get around to visit their friends.
A few possible solutions…
Depending on your child’s age and personality, you have different options to help him through this period of change.
Bibliotherapy for toddlers
Bibliotherapy is a good way to prepare a young child for an event that is coming, or to help him adapt to an event that has just occurred. It is a question of reading him a story in which a character lives a situation similar to his. Usually the story has a positive ending to help the child play down the situation. Here are some reading suggestions on the subject of moving: