By Ximena Reyes
The train has come to a final station and whether you enjoyed the trip or not, it is time to leave.
Moving to a new country or perhaps relocating back home is stressful. So many practical things to take care of, some many things to coordinate and decide. Amidst the many things to cope with, every person in the family is living through this change, individually and on their own pace.
Moving means losing, closing, entering the unknown. It is leaving your comfort zone, even if you didn’t feel well, it was somehow what you knew. It means to leave your home, friends, familiar people around you, your known restaurants, parks and more. No matter the age of the children they ARE experiencing the process. Maybe they cannot formulate their discomfort and sense of loss, but for sure it will have an effect on their behavior.
It is a loss, and there is a closure and grieving process to be done and supported.
How can you support your children in this process and facilitate their adaptation to the new location?
First, your own attitude is a guidance for the kids. They will perceive your anxiety, your existing or non-
existing grief, your sudden changes from over-controlling to not caring, they see you when you are reluctant to give away things or learn more about the new place.
1. Use this process of change to change things in your daily life.
2. Embrace the power that change brings.
3. Let your child design a sticker that will be put in all the boxes from his room (buy empty labels and let
them color it)
4. Create opportunities for your family to individually say goodbye to people and places.
5. Let them choose or design their new rooms in the new location, but keep it realistic.
6. Come ahead of time to the new place to let them adapt gradually
7. Help them to be in contact with their friends
8. Accept that things won’t be the same
9. Understand that feelings will be more intense, reduce any added pressure.
10. Be ready to make exceptions in your routines, sleeping, eating and more during this transition phase.