Moving is a fact of life for military families, and while adults might not have a hard time adjusting to the frequent upheaval, it can be difficult for children. Leaving a home they are comfortable in and moving away from friends is a challenge, and it’s something that children of military members have to deal with more frequently than most.
Finding ways to make it easier for your child to transition during a move benefits the entire family and makes the move go more smoothly on various levels. Here are five ways to help children adjust more easily during a military move:
Provide Notice Well in Advance
You may dread the potential uproar, but the more time kids have to adjust, the easier it will be for them. Give them as much time as possible to prepare for the idea of saying goodbye to friends and to get used to the idea of leaving.
Create a “Goodbye” Ritual
Saying goodbye can be particularly difficult if your child has a lot of favorite places where you live. Help children move on by taking them to some of their favorite spots — a park, library, restaurant, or play place — to have one final great experience. End it by saying “goodbye” to the special spot; even if it sounds silly or feels strange to adults, it can be very helpful for children.
Get Involved in New Activities Upon Moving
A great way for children to meet new friends and feel included is through sports, clubs, or other extracurricular activities. If your family is participating in activities at the military base where you currently live, continue doing those same things when you relocate. This gives your child (and you) more consistency and can make the transition from one city to another easier.
Keep Communication Open
Letting your child talk about how he or she feels about the move can help with coping with feelings of fear, sadness, and even anger. As you talk with your child about feelings about the move, you can help him or her develop a plan for managing those feelings. Let your child ask questions and express concerns openly.
Attitude is everything, and that’s especially true when you’re moving to a new home. If you can remain upbeat and excited about the move, it’s easier for your children to react that way as well. Plan adventures in your new city and find things for everyone in the family to look forward to doing.
Military moves may sometimes be difficult, but fortunately there are many ways you can help make it easier for your child. Additionally, CORT Furniture Rental can do the same for you by handling all your furniture needs so you have one less thing to put on your to-do list. Let CORT take care of your furniture, so you can take care of your family.