Make Moving A Success for Your Military Child in 7 Steps
Frequent moves are often synonymous with military life. However, frequent moves can weigh heavily on children. Changing schools frequently can contribute to children developing anxiety or low self-esteem. It can also affect their ability to learn how to create meaningful and lasting relationships with others. However, parents can help to lessen the effects of moving on their children’s self-esteem by doing the following:
Get your child ready. Prep your child emotionally for the move. If it is not possible to visit the area you will be moving to, research it online. Help your child start the process of becoming familiar with their soon to be new home by looking up area attractions, schools and other places that your child will frequent. Focus on the positive of the move.
Make memories. Take time before you move to celebrate where you are currently living. Make sure your child is able to say goodbye to their friends and even places that they enjoyed going. Creating a scrapbook of important events or milestones your child achieved while living at their current residence. This can help your child to bring closure to where they are now and welcome where they are going.
Stay connected. Make a plan to help your kids stay connected with the friends they have made. There are so many ways to continue communication with friends, regardless of where you are in the world. Some modes of communication to consider are Skype, Facetime, and email. You can even employ the old, but the lovely art of sending letters through the mail.
Listen to the fears. Acknowledge your child’s fears about moving. Listen to what they are feeling. Talk to them about their feelings. Remember all feelings are important. Help them to find solutions to worries about moving. If the child is very young, reading stories about moving could help them understand and explore the feelings they may have about moving.
Kids first. Make sure that your child’s bedroom is one of the first rooms of the home that is unpacked and put together. This helps the child create familiarity with their surroundings. Kids love the consistency and having their bed, favorite toys and other important items surrounding them will help to ease anxiety and feelings of sadness.
Actively look for new activities for your child in the new community. The faster you become part of the new community the better it will be for your child.
Make sure to tell your child frequently how brave they are and how much you believe in them. Encourage your child to develop a healthy curiosity about their surroundings, the country, and the world.