You have made the move and the whole family has settled into their new home – or have they really settled in, though? Many parents struggle with their children’s explosive emotions after moving house, they deal with hours of tantrums and pain, and don’t quite understand that although they have digested this new experience and settled in emotionally, their children are far from feeling like this is their home.
They want to go home, they cry, and you try to comfort them, feeling a heavy sense of hopelessness, and mumbling something in the lines of ‘this is your home now.’
It only produces more tears, frustration, and confusion – while you feel their pain, it’s difficult to know what to do. Use the advice of parents who made the move before you and find comfort in the fact that tantrums are perfectly normal after such a big experience; you just need to know how to handle it.
Stay in touch with your old neighbourhood
If it was your children’s childhood home you’ve moved away from, it’s no wonder that the process is so chaotic. With so many emotions attached, both from your side and theirs, you’re bound to miss it and be haunted by fond memories. Make it easier for your children by making an honest attempt at staying in touch with their old friends, visiting their old house, and taking them to the playground they used to love.
It will make it a bit easier for them to deal with their emotions when they suddenly miss back to something.
Sometimes, it’s not practical to go back to your old area, especially if you moved hours away from there. Luckily, we have the technology to help us out; set up Skype sessions with their old playmates or their favourite babysitter who they miss so much – just seeing their face and hearing their voices can ease those emotions a bit.
If it’s not too late by now, encourage them to take pictures of their old home, the street they used to play in, and the park you always went to on Sundays. The more they’re able to treasure their memories and get a sign of life from the place they love so much, the easier it will be for them to manage the burst of actually feeling homesick in their new home.
Make them excited about their new home
Life is about keeping a balance, and the same applies when you’re dealing with turbulent emotions. You need to make your children understand that their feelings are taken into considerations and accepted – but you should also try to encourage a positive outlook on their new home and school. It’s not as complicated as it may sound, though, and will probably come naturally to you as a parent.
Try to keep their favourite toys with you in the car when you move, so that they have access to them as soon as you arrive; things tend to get lost, you know, and especially with interstate removals. Point out aspects of their room that they’ll be excited about, how much bigger it is, and how cool the playground in your neighbourhood is. Children need a steady routine to feel secure, so it’s important that you get back to your normal life as soon as possible.
With your loving support, they’ll settle in soon enough, just give them the time they need and a chance to see their old friends again from time to time.