10.5.16

7 Ways to Make Moving to a New City Easier on Your Kids

7 Ways to Make Moving to a New City Easier on Your Kids
For many of you, summer holidays might be a time to move to a new city and start a new life. Guest blogger Vinitha Rajan, of www.ourowncorner.com/poohsden, talks about preparing your children for a move.

Moving is not easy. It is painful and the worst part is the goodbyes, especially for children. As we packed up and moved continents, we went around for goodbye lunches and dinners. A lot of "keep-in-touch" and "good-luck" messages were delivered punctuated with hugs.

I admit a few of those have left me teary-eyed. I treasure the relationships developed over time and the comfort of knowing I had people around me who cared. Then I drop everything off and jet set to another part of the world. Hard isn't it? If it was hard for me, it would be harder for my 4-year-old. I have witnessed heart-breaking moments as my daughter said her goodbyes. It is hard to deal with them. Here are some ways I found to make goodbyes easier on her as we moved…

1) Inform Ahead
Kids are always processing things in their little minds. It is easier for them to know that goodbyes are coming up. I usually start a couple of days earlier and involve others to consistently keep sending a message that a goodbye is coming up. It does make my daughter sad when she understands that we need to leave and I also find that she gets clingier to me the closer we get to departure.

2) Look to the Future
"Child-like excitement" is a term used for a purpose. The prospect of the future is a marvel for kids. They always believe tomorrow is better and more amazing. Looking into the future makes goodbyes easier. I usually find it easier when I keep telling my daughter about all the fun we will have post-goodbyes. I pull out pictures from the Internet of what lies ahead of us in the new city and we create a collage of all the things that fascinate us in the new city.

3) Make Tangible Memories
Memories are intangible and kids find it especially hard to embrace the concept of carrying memories. Making memories tangible is a great way to make goodbyes easier. My daughter decided she would carry with her one of her grandpa's tee shirts as a memory. She clung to it for a few nights and plays dress up with it. It is her happy memory, one she associates with happy times and it made goodbyes easier. As she grows up, we have been making photo journals and memory projects to keep us rooted. It is amazing how much stability our loved ones give us.

4) Keep It Short
Keep the final goodbyes short. It is hard enough without dragging it out. Do not insist on hugging or kissing when the kid is not inclined. My little one sulks during goodbyes and she will refuse to hug or kiss. She just wants to get out of sight of those who made a trek to the airport and we usually oblige.

5) Play with Words
The word 'goodbye' seems final. It seems like an end. Instead we have now adopted 'let us meet again'. It makes us hope and look forward to the next fun meeting.

6) Keep Connected
Saying goodbye does not mean the bond is broken or the memories created have to be erased. After goodbyes, you do need to keep those memories alive. We look at pictures and videos, laugh at the silly antics and relive the memories. We also use video chats and conferences to stay connected.

7) Keep Treats Handy
Tears will flow. "But I miss them" moments will occur. Meltdowns and tantrums are a part of childhood.I usually have a share of acceptable treats handy to handle such situations. Treats typically not associated with mom. I also bribe her with a trip to the bookstore at the airport. Like mom, she is easily distracted at the sight of books. It does help :)

(Image courtesy Thinkstock)

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