Hey lovelies, relocating with kids is a huge task to tackle so we’ve got some top tips for you 🙂
When we 1st left the UK our daughter was 7 and the thought of warm beaches and white sand, palm trees and dolphins, and being close enough to Disney World for a day trip, was enough to get her jumping for Joy and packing her bags before the day was out.
Each following move hasn’t been met with quite the same enthusiasm, as they now know what this whole relocation thing actually means to their lives. But they are both definitely seasoned travellers and the big wide world out there is not as scary as it once was. Our job as parents is to help this new chapter start as smoothly as possible for our peeps.
It doesn’t mean that there will be no tears, and that it won’t be hard, but it does mean we can be as prepared as possible, and lead the way in a positive and proactive way, and if we lead they will follow 🙂
Preparing to Move
.We have always found that preparation is really important and research is paramount! so do as much as you can. Research the suburbs, and schools , kids sports, fun days out and other activities your family may like ( click on the links to be taken to the info we have on all of theses )
. Allow the tears ! there will be lots and they may come at different times depending on your kids personalities, but know there may well be some grumpiness ( this can increase as they get older and feel more entrenched in their lives ).
. Speak as positively as possible about where you are moving to, get the globe out and pin point your new home and find all the cool things about where you are moving too and here in Brisbane we have loads of amazing places
. Take lots of photos of places and people you will be leaving behind and make a photo collage and frame it for them to have on their wall.
. Again expect the tears, little ones often just don’t understand and just want to go home back to their old bedroom and all that was familiar.
. We have always prioritised sorting our kids bedrooms out 1st, put as many familiar things in as soon as possible. If you’re going to redecorate, let them have a say in the colour of the paint ( could be scary but hey if it means they feel a little happier, then go for it you can always paint it again )
. If possible, stick to your normal routine as much as possible, which initially can be really tricky but as soon as you can get things back to normal! this can be huge for little ones, and actually for all of you as a family, the sooner you start acting like this is home, the sooner it will become so.
. Often its really good for them to see you cry too. If you need to all have a good cry together go for it, so they can see its ok to feel a bit sad. But then get that smile back on your face even if you don’t feel like it. As you’ll only worry your kids if you just keep on crying.
. Get out there and join everything 🙂 yep you really do have to put yourself out there and just keep on doing it! Find all sorts of activities for your kids to join, this is a great opportunity for them to try something totally new. We have lots of Brisbane activities listed here on Joy so check them out.
. Get to know your new neighbours and organise lots of playdates, yep you really have to put on that happy face and “fake it until you make it ” it is worth it and yes you can do it
. Skype and Facetime are fantastic and make full use of them, but don’t forget spend time on your new life. Don’t always look backwards to what you have left behind, as that will only serve to make you feel more homesick. I actually went through a time when I had a total break from FB for a few months as I found it too sad to see what all my old friends were doing without me as I was feeling lonely on the other side of the world.
. If your kids are old enough for Facebook and social media keep a close eye on what is going on with these ( yep you need to read their messages ! ) not to interfere but to keep an eye out for any really worrying trends in their messaging. It’s normal for teenagers to feel moody, but you need to watch that they are not sinking into depression, and if you get worried at all seek help for them, headspace are an amazing resource we have here for teenagers. Encourage them to interact with their new friends as well and make sure to keep checking in on them and seeing how they are getting on.
. Moving with teenagers is harder than with little ones and can mean you are in for a bumpy ride as they try and settle in. It can be so hard for them as its not easy to just turn up to things when you don’t know anyone and teenagers can find it hard to just start chatting to other teenagers, so even if you introduce them to all sorts of new people and new activities they may just not fit in. They may even feel they don’t actually want to make new friends yet, as they weren’t ready to leave the life they had before. Hang in there ! love them through this and seek help if you need to
. Best advise is don’t give up ! keep going and keep offering them opportunities, we have all sorts of activities on here and there are some great youth groups around as well. Keep introducing them to other teenagers you meet, and at some point they will start to find their feet. Just keep loving them and encouraging them. Teenage years are not easy at the best of times, for them or you.
. At the end of the day its hard for kiddies just as it is for you, but they truly will follow your lead and if you look ahead with positivity to this new and exciting life they eventually will too.
Hang in there parenting is never easy!
Greet each new day with Hope and Joy, and it will be OK
The Joy Girls xxx