Dear Dr. Bill,
Due to a job transfer, we are moving to a different region of the country. How can we soften the blow” for our kids?
Each year, over nine million children and over two million teenagers move to a new home. Moving isn’t easy for kids.
According to Parents magazine “toddlers will mourn the loss of their room and the house they’ve always lived in. School-age children will mourn the loss of their friends and the loss of their school. Teenagers, along with mourning all of the above, are likely to feel anger at their parents for a major life change that is beyond their control.”
In her book “After the Boxes are Unpacked,” author Susan Miller suggests several ideas to help your kids make the transition more smoothly:
- Don’t play down the importance of the changes your children are going through. (telling them “everything will work out” isn’t necessarily the best approach).
- Encourage them to express their fears and concerns. If they are too young to verbalize their feelings, help them.
- Don’t feel that you have to justify or defend the move to your kids, shoulder the blame, or solve all their problems.
- Don’t deny your children’s feelings; that will just increase their sense of isolation.
Also, help your kids get plugged into a church group, sports league, or community youth organization as soon as possible.
Thanks for writing, Suzanne. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.
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