If it’s difficult for us, adults, to move from place to place starting over and over again – it’s paramount for kids. Especially the kids whose ages thrust them somewhere between “I’ll miss my grandparents!!!” and “I cannot live without my friends!!!” sentiments.
So what are we to do to help those kids? Sharing information about the impending destination and communicating throughout the process will, of course, help, but how do we get them really excited about the move?
Here is a fun exercise you can do with your children to help them move from sadness to excitement in about 10 minutes:
(1) Get a sheet of paper, write “Moving to _____ “ on top, and divide it into 2 columns.
(2) Title the left column “Bad things about moving to_____” and title the right column “Good things about moving to _____”.
(3) Ask them to come up with the “bad things” first. Write down everything they say and make sure not to offer your own opinions.
(4) After they are done, ask them to come up with the “good things”. Again, stay clear of imposing your “good things” on them and instead listen for their ideas and write each one of them down. This part works really well if you have already spoken with your child about your destination and things you can all enjoy there.
(5) After both columns are done, rate each thing you wrote on a scale of 1 to 10: 10 being “how bad that thing is” for the left column and “how good that thing is” for the right column (and 1 being the reverse).
|“Bad things” about moving to ______||“Good things” about moving to ______|
|Leave grandparents (10)||New adventures (10)|
|Leave school (6)||Learn a new language (7)|
|Leave local TV (3)||See snow (8)|
(6) Sum up the numbers. If you did your sharing and communicating throughout the process, your child will come up with a lot more “good” things than “bad” things and you’ll be able to point out how high their satisfaction is with the move as opposed to their dissatisfaction using the numbers.
(7) Hang the list in your child’s room until the move and remind your child that they can always look at it when they feel particularly sad.
Leave a comment letting us know how it went for you!
For another kid-friendly exercise that can help your children adjust in a new country, download our Adjustment Guide E-course — on online self-taught course that provides tools on how best to manage the effects of adjusting to another culture.
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