Transition and change are hard on our hearts. We grieve the loss of something familiar yet look forward to new possibilities. Adults, through our lens of past experiences, can feel a certain confidence that everything will all work out in the end. Children, on the other hand, don’t have a fully developed “executive center” in their brain that allows them to apply their past experiences to the current state of affairs. They can do it; but it takes the help of caring, compassionate adults to show them the way.
In their Facts For Families series, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides a guide moving with children. To help “guard their hearts,” here is a short list of things the AACAP recommends for parents (Click here for the full guide):
- Provide a clear, age-appropriate explanation for why the move is necessary. Don’t talk down to kids and use language that help them understand.
- Help children become familiar with their new neighborhood and school.
- Google Maps provides a “street view” that can help kids see what to expect rather than letting their imagination take the driver’s seat.
- Subscribe to the local paper’s online edition.
- Let them be “masters of their domain” in designing and furnishing their new bedroom.
For more ideas on how to help your children with the move, click here for resources shared in a previous MFI blog post.
For more information about the Moving Families Initiative®, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.
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