I am sad to say I am moving right now, but I am also excited about a new adventure. No, I am not leaving the area, just moving a few miles up the street. Still, it is difficult for me. I will really miss seeing my neighbor's everyday. They are terrific! Counselor and Psychologist Dr. Lori Russell Chapin from Bradley University says the way I am feeling is normal and I shouldn't hide it from my kids. I know my almost five-year-old is devastated. He has told me several times he likes the new house, but he doesn't want to move. "Momma, can we just keep this house too?" he said. It breaks my heart. I am sure I will be in tears most of the day!
Dr. Russell-Chapin gave me some great tips for preparing my little one for the big move. I do think they will help!
- Ask your child how he/she feels about moving. "Most kids and adults will go through the process of grief and loss because the house and neighborhood are something you've become attached to," she said.
- Let the child be part of the moving process. Russell-Chapin said, "Let them see the new house before you buy it. Maybe even show them two houses and let them sort of pick. Let them pick their new room and let them help pack some boxes."
- Use attachment by finding a transitional object or two. "If you have a transitional object like a security blanket, a certain picture your child likes, a plant that you can take from your old home to the new one use that. Maybe you can take a picture of their favorite room and put it in their new room. If they have a favorite piece of wallpaper or rocks from the old house, bring them to the new house. That's how we help our kids go from one transition to another," she said.
- Set-up a play date with old friends before you move out, but still work to meet new ones.
- Create a ritual. Say goodbye to your old house and welcome your new house. You might even want to have a cake or little party for both events. "We are going to go by and talk about all the fun times at the house, even the sad ones. You need to create a new normal. Continue doing the old traditions and then make new traditions," said Russell-Chapin.
Dr. Russell-Chapin says even though moving is hard, you are teaching your kids a good life lesson. She said, "They need to learn how to deal with change and this is a good step. When we moved, I made sure the one thing they had was their beds were made at the new house. The children's rooms I worked on first. I started there the first night. You want them to feel good."
That is my plan! I hope to have the kids rooms ready before we go to sleep tonight! How did your kids react when you moved? Do you have any more tips for us
-NewsAnchorMom JenMethodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.