Hello everyone! My name is Nicole Elliott and I blog over at Wyoming Girl turned… I “e-met” Amber of Jade Louis Designs a few years ago and we connected almost instantly–there are just so many common things in our background. The biggest, perhaps, is that we are both Wyoming Girls in some form, have both been military spouses, and now are working from home and raising our kiddos. I love her blog (I’m an email subscriber so I don’t miss anything!) and so I was thrilled when she asked me to do a guest post for all of you-I love what an interactive crowd you all are!
Kids and Moving:
After brainstorming I felt that a perfect post that would resonate with both of us and relect our blogs would be moving–as military spouses it’s something you do a lot-and even now as a “GI Bill Spouse” I feel that the many moves will not be coming to an end anytime soon. Because of that the topic I wanted to blog about became easy to select!
How To Help Your Children Be Resilient During Moves
Every member of our small family of four was born in a different state. Hubby hails from Texas, I (naturally) am a Wyoming Girl, Amber, our daughter, was a North Carolina baby, and Tyler was born near Boston, Massachusetts! Our oldest who is Five has moved out of state 4 times in the 5 years she’s been alive–and that’s not counting our temporary relocation for 1 month to Texas and then 6 months to Wyoming during hubby’s military deployment.
Anyone who has ever moved knows just how stressful it is–even if you have movers. It can especially wreck havoc for kids to whom security of home and routine is everything! I feel like our children have done remarkably well, so I wanted to share my best tips!
1. Play Up the GOOD! Especially for older children it is so important to be focusing in on the good things about the new area that you’re moving to rather than how sad you are about leaving the old one. My daughter was 4 when we moved from Boston to Texas and she loved our apartment, our fish, and her friends. Whenever she would tell me how sad she was to be leaving I would acknowledge her feelings, letting her know it was ok to be a little sad and miss everything. Then I would re-direct and start gushing about how wonderful it was going to be in our new place.
Don’t lie or over-promise though! Find the true benefits of the place you’re going to and start praising them! Will they be able to have their own room, get a new pet, see Daddy more, be closer to family? Whatever the reason you’re moving for play up the benefits to the child. Having a hard time? Do a little research into the area you’re moving to–is there a Children’s Museum close by, a local zoo, a cool hangout, any exciting programs you can find that your child could attend? Even just giving them one thing to really look forward to will help to soften the blow and get them on board.
2. Make it Fun. I know you’re tired and stressed but really pull out the stops and try to make the move easy and fun for them. Let them help pack, help de-clutter, and generally empower them by helping them feel like they’re really contributing, and let them know that they are! Let them decide what “last minute musts” you want to visit or do one last time before you move. Prepare for success with the road trips on the way to your new spot (there are lots of great posts on Pinterest that you can pull up for ideas!) and try your best to keep things easy on everyone by turning it into an adventure!
3. Establish a Routine ASAP This step is crucial for everyone but especially babies–for babies/toddlers their world pretty much just revolves around their home and their stuff, so the faster you can get it out of boxes and into a room the better. As soon as they are back into their “comfort zone” they will begin to unwind and relax.
This step is crucial for big kids (and even parents) too! Did you always do baths, read a story, and have them in bed by 8? Don’t change now! Having the same routine, even if they’re someplace totally different, helps kids to feel secure and at home.
I hope these tips help your kids and moving!
Please let me know if you have any I might have missed and please don’t forget to come visit my blog–I’d love to get to know you better!