The old Morris Albert song describes it perfectly, “Feelings…nothing more than feelings…” But oh how those feelings can confuse and confound us. The stress of moving your family into a new home amplifies those feelings tenfold and makes it a little (or a lot!) more complicated to manage our own emotions let alone assist our children with managing theirs.
When our kids show anger at us or at the fact that they have to leave friends and their comfort zone behind, we must recognize that anger is just the tip of the iceberg. Parents are often very good at managing the changes associated with moving (boxes, trucks, new schedules, new schools, etc.) but not necessarily the transition, which involves all the “messy” stuff like emotions, egos and personalities. Anger is the secondary emotion that helps us hide or protect ourselves from the more vulnerable emotions like fear, grief, hurt or worry.
Using our detective skills as well as reflective listening, we can uncover what’s under the surface and assist our children in dealing with the complex emotions that go along with relocating to a new home.
No parent should move without a written game plan to help your children deal with the difficulties they face when moving.
For more information about the Moving Families Initative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.