Moving can be hard and stressful for adults, but it can be depressing or traumatizing for children. Kids don’t understand change as well as adults can and so large changes in their lives can cause lasting damage on both their emotional health and their social awareness. A study published in the [American Journal of Preventive Medicine](http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(16%2930118-0/pdf) investigated how moving affected children throughout their lives and whether it had a negative affect their health. The study showed that moving during childhood increased the likelihood that the child would experience negative life events such as suicide attempts, criminality, psychiatric disorders, drug abuse, and unnatural mortality. Of course, this study led many parents to be concerned about the welfare of their children since most of the time, moving wasn’t just an option for the family. Caring for the family and helping them adjust during moving periods can be difficult but here are 4 ways you can best help them to adjust without affecting their future lives.
1. Emphasize the Positive
When the family is moving, the children are more likely to focus on the negative side of things. They will think about how they have to leave behind their group of friends, and they might dread having to be the new kid at a school. They might resent having to leave their home that they grew up in and point out all of the other negative things about moving. Rather than becoming upset at the child for thinking negatively, help them to see it in a more positive light.
Show them the home that you’ll be moving to and point out all the exciting parts of the house. Look at the areas around the house that the kids might find fun and act as if you’re excited about the move. If the kids can be excited as well, the transition will be a lot easier for them.
2. Let Your Kids be More Involved
Your kids should be involved in the entire process of moving. As soon as you find out that you’re moving, tell them and ask them to help you decide where. Let them know that their opinions matter to you. When you’re house shopping, ask them to help you look at the new homes Denver to pick the one that works best for the family as a whole. Ask them what they want to live by and show them the schools that are near each house. To transition best, they need to feel like they were a huge part of the decision making process.
3. Let Your Child Express Their Feelings
You should never force your child to hold in the way that they’re feeling. If they feel like they can’t talk to you about what they’re going through, then they are going to grow up thinking that no one cares if they’re hurting inside. This could lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. Make sure that your child knows that they can talk to you. Encourage them to open up and share what they’re going through with you. In return, open up to them and tell them how much you love and care about them. Let them know that you only want for them to be happy and that you’ll do anything to help them be happy.
You should also explain to them that the family has to move but that you want to help them get through it. Continue to help them express their feelings to you long after the move as well.
4. Take Them to Fun Places in the New Community
A few months before you move, take the family out to the area that you’ll be moving in to. If you’re moving to Denver, take to the Botanical Gardens and the museums in the downtown area. Let them spend some time by the reservoirs and hike around the mountains in Boulder. Let them fall in love with the new area before you move there.
Treat your children with unconditional love, and they will be able to get through the move in one move. Continue to love and support them and listen to their concerns, and they will be able to transition.