Moving to a new home can be quite the ordeal. You may think it’s a way to start over, but your child might look at it as a big ball of anxiety. They will be in a new place, surrounded by strangers. Things get even harder if they have anxiety or have to deal with seizures due to a physical condition.
As a parent, it’s your job to make the move in the least disruptive way possible. Here are some things to remember to help children ease into the new home:
Children with anxiety have a set routine they have to follow, and steering away from it, even for a few days, may cause great distress. If there’s a way to make them less anxious, you should do it. One thing that can help is to pack their belongings mindfully. For instance, if they have certain items that help them calm down, pack those in a box that’s easily accessible to them.
These items give them a sense of normalcy, telling them everything will be fine if they just take a few deep breaths to take in their new surroundings. Children who have been under a great deal of stress will be thankful to find a comforting item, and it can divert them from all the chaos happening as everyone unpacks their stuff.
Get an Emotional Service or Support Animal
For children with anxiety, it can be stressful to move to a new place. They’ll be surrounded by people who don’t know about their condition and who don’t know what to do in case of an episode. Just this knowledge could trigger anxiety or make them isolate themselves at home, where it’s safe and their family can watch over them. You will be there to protect them at home, but that’s not the ideal setup for a growing child.
They need to be able to socialize without fearing that their condition will get in the way. To ease their and your burden, look for an emotional support dog or a service dog, depending on the condition of your child. Service dogs are trained to help people with disabilities, while emotional service dogs can be a calming force for your child. You will, of course, need an emotional service animal letter, especially if you’re living in an area that doesn’t traditionally allow pets.
Do Minimal Changes to Their Routine
Adults have an easier time adapting to changes in their routine compared to children. Children rely on the routine you’ve established for them while they also have their small rituals going on. You may think it’s to their benefit to get a few days off school to get used to the place, but doing so might not be helping them warm up to their new home. It’s better to let them go back to their normal routine as soon as possible. This way, they will not think they are on vacation and feel homesick.
It’s hard for everyone to get used to the new home, but if they see their parents going about their normal routine, they will follow suit. It’s also a good idea to make new routines with the family, especially because you’re all they know in the new place, for now. While they need a gentle push to start socializing with neighbors and peers, they also need you to be there to tell them everything will work out fine.
There’s a lot to think about after moving to a new house. Include the well-being of your children in your priorities, so everyone can settle down without worries.