Helping Kids Say Goodbye Before You Move
For many kids, it’s not the act of moving that causes the most stress during a relocation—and it might not be the problems associated with fitting in at a new school and in a new neighborhood, either. In fact, the act of saying goodbye to friends, favorite places, and even your home itself can be the most difficult step.
Even if your child is excited about the move, it’s a good idea to take some time to say goodbye to your old way of life. You typically only have one chance to bid your final farewell, so make it a good one. Here are a few steps for making it special.
- Impress the Finality of Moving: Depending on how old your children are, they may not understand how final a move is (in much the same way they may not understand things like death and the loss of a pet). Do your best to help them understand that you won’t be returning. It will make the eventual realization that much easier.
- Take Photos: Friends, favorite parks, every room in the house…be sure and take lots of photos. These visual reminders will come in handy if your child experiences homesickness or feels regret over leaving parts of his or her life behind.
- Grab Mementos: Find the wallpaper pattern in your child’s room and frame a square to take with them. Grab the rock that sits over the grave of hamsters that have been buried in the backyard. Trace the growth chart you put on the wall so it can be re-applied in your new home. These tiny touches can mean a lot to a child who is feeling homesick.
- Invite Friends Over to Help Pack: For adults, packing is a chore and a bother, but kids often find it exciting. Invite your child’s friends over to help them pack up their room, and turn it into a kind of party or game.
- Plan an Event: Make your departure into something special. Plan a farewell party (whether it’s for friends or for inanimate objects like the home itself), hold a special ceremony, or let your child take the reins and come up with their own celebration. Making the goodbye into a memorable and exciting event will help give them some control over the situation and leave them with positive memories.
- Make a Farewell Tour Take a day to walk through all those places and stop by to say goodbye all those people who matter to you. A sort of “farewell tour” can also be replicated if you come back for a visit, making it even more special.
- Plan for Future Contact: Don’t cut your child off without any plans for future contact. Allow them to exchange phone numbers, emails, Skype accounts, and social media accounts to stay in touch. You can also do something nice like purchase your child (and his or her closest friends) a journal or stationary to jot down their feelings and share correspondence.
Perhaps most importantly, ask your child what he or she would like to do. Some kids may feel more of a connection to your physical home than you do (especially if it’s the only home they’ve ever known), and their private ceremonies and memorials can be an important part of the moving process. Good luck and happy move from Cord Moving and Storage a moving company that cares.