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Although moving can be an exciting change as you experience a new neighborhood or city, it can also be challenging to handle, especially for young children. While you may have extensive experience moving before, the situation is much different for kids, particularly if it's their first time.
Homesickness can be a common side effect of moving, especially if changing cities and schools by changing states. While the process can be challenging, there are ways you can make an interstate relocation easier for yourself and your little ones.
What Causes Homesickness?
As a rule, the brain doesn't like change. It likes things to stay reliable and comfortable, so it can take time to break habits and make new ones.
Homesickness is a side effect of the brain's inability to adapt to change rapidly. Typically, homesickness happens shortly after a move, but it can also occur at other times, such as high-stress situations or significant setbacks.
This condition is usually rooted in what "home" means, more than a physical place. For kids, homesickness may occur because they have fond memories of the old house and don't know what to expect from the move. So, their brains enhance the divide between the two locations, making them feel "homesick" as a result.
How to Help With Homesickness
Fortunately, since homesickness is a state of mind, there are ways you can mitigate its effects on your children. Here are some top tips on helping ease the transition and make them more excited about starting this new journey.
Stay Connected With Old Friends
Chances are that your child had at least a few friends at your old home, whether from school, a club, or the neighborhood. Get the numbers of their parents so you can all stay in touch. After you move, your kids can keep in touch with friends — and family via phone calls, texts, and video chats since it might be too far away for you to continue getting together in person. Encourage them in an age-appropriate way to have long-distance relationships. Children who feel connected to old friends have more self-assurance when making new friends in their new home.
Encourage Participation at Your New Location
Since homesickness is usually rooted in positive memories, you can use that to your advantage. By celebrating the positive elements of your new house and creating new happy memories, your child will feel less nostalgic for your old home. So, plan some fun activities in and around the house to show your child that this place can still feel the same as long as you're all together.
Help Your Child Identify Why They Feel Homesick
In many cases, talking through your feelings can help you identify why they occur and what you can do to mitigate their effects. So, if your child is homesick, it's often best to discuss why they're feeling that way and what triggers it the most. Typically, any significant changes (i.e., a new school or loss of friends) can make the transition harder.
During this discussion, validating your child's feelings and approaching solutions with an open mind is essential. The more you can support them, the more likely they'll try to overcome their negative thoughts.
Don't Rush Anything
Homesickness isn't something to be "cured," so don't try to "fix" anything. Instead, figure out what makes your child feel the most homesick and address those concerns first. In some cases, a few positive changes can be enough to reduce those sad feelings. In other cases, it may take a few months or years for your child to get fully acclimated and used to the new setting.
Get Moving Help From Us!
Moving comes with enough stress, so let us take a lot of it off your plate with our professional moving services. We provide a wide array of options to make your transition as easy and hassle-free as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our long-distance and local moving services.