For parents who need to relocate for work, there are several factors to take into consideration in order to not adversely affect their child’s life. According to psychotherapist Dr. Christina Steinorth, “Recognizing the effects that moving has on your child’s development can help prepare the entire family for the adjustments that may result.” This article will address how to relocate for work without affecting your child’s life.
Several Steps to Take During the Process
#1 Monitor How You Share the News
When you receive the news and it’s confirmed that you will be relocating for work, you should be selective in how you share the news with those in your life. For example, if you’re moving away from family, some individuals may not be happy with the news. Additionally, once you begin sharing the news, you will then need to deal with questions, as well as “helpful” suggestions from others. Dealing with those questions can cause you to experience added stress during the move and relocation process. Your number one priority is to be focused on how the move will affect you, your partner and your kids. Then you need to focus on the process and making a smooth transition for your future employment position. After dealing with those factors, then you can begin to respond to those questions and suggestions from others.
#2 Carefully Share the News with Your Kids
Depending on the age of your child or children, that will affect how you share the news and the amount of details you tell them. However, it should always be done carefully with consideration of their feelings. You know your children best and each one may react differently; especially if they are not excited to move to another location. It is important to create excitement about the move and show your children that you support them no matter how they react about moving. Make an effort to create a sense of a surprise voyage to a new home. Generally, you will likely have more success with this step if your children are younger rather than teenagers.
#3 Make Specific Relocations Plans
It is important that during the process, you make specific plans and don’t allow the stress of the journey to hinder your progress. Depending on the age of your children, you can involve them in the planning stages and seek their decisions on some of the smaller matters. Bringing your child into the decision making can make him or her feel part of the process and become more excited for the move.
#4 Secure Assistance in Babysitting
If you want the relocation process to go smoothly, it is important to secure assistance with babysitting help during the packing stage as well as on the moving day. Packing up an entire household of items is going to take time and energy. You should find a trusted friend or family member to help by babysitting your child one or two days while you get packing done. It is also important to have a babysitter confirmed to watch your child on the moving day. You will be busy getting everything done that day and won’t be able to keep an eye on your child.
#5 Get Connected Before Your Relocate
According to Stephanie Lema from WorkingMother.com, it is vital that you can “connect with others in the area before you get there.” One of her suggestions before you relocate for work is to utilize various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to begin making connections in your new location. When she and her family moved, they made an effort to get connected online with other mom bloggers and then she met with them in person after moving to the new location. This is a great way to begin creating lasting connections with other families and for your children to make new friends.
#6 Involve Your Kids in Packing
Similarly to having your children be part of the planning stages, it is also important to involve them in the packing process. Another idea that Ms. Lema shared which worked well during her moving process, was to give her children a box to pack toys in. She made the process fun and reminded the children that they would see these toys again once they arrived at the new home.
#7 Find Ways to Reduce Your Stress
It is vital that you find ways to reduce your stress during the relocation process. If you have a routine that helps you alleviate stress, keep to it as closely as possible during the packing process and do something on the moving day to help reduce your stress level. Also, remember to find ways to reduce your children’s stress level regarding the relocation. Ms. Lema read the book, The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day, to her children during the relocation process and shared that it helped them adjust to the move.
Relocating for work can be made a much simpler process for you, your partner and your children if you have a game plan in place at the beginning. Following the steps as outlined in this article, will greatly increase your chances of having a smoother relocation process.
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