If you’re planning to relocate your family, you may be dreading the thought of telling your kids. You may feel guilty about turning their lives upside down or may be worried that they will cry or get angry at you. Even though it may be difficult, the conversation has to be had. The sooner it happens, the better.
Your Kids Can Sense When Something Is Up
Even if you try to keep adult conversations about an impending move hush-hush, your children will realize that you’re hiding something from them. That can make them feel that they can’t trust you.
When people sense that something is going on, but they don’t know what, their imaginations tend to run wild. Your kids may wonder if someone has a serious illness or if you’re planning to get a divorce. Finding out that the family will be moving may be somewhat of a relief.
Talk to Your Kids When You Have Some Specifics
You don’t need to get every detail worked out before you have a conversation with your kids, but you should discuss the move when you have enough information to answer basic questions. If you’re thinking about moving because of a promotion, make sure that you or your spouse has the job lined up and the compensation worked out before talking to your kids. If you tell them that you will be moving before the new position is definite, and then things change, that can cause them unnecessary anxiety.
You should also have housing lined up before you tell your kids about the move. A home purchase can fall through for many reasons, so don’t tell your children about an amazing house that you’ve found until you’re certain that it will be yours.
Discuss the move once you’re prepared to tell your kids when it will happen. You don’t need to have an exact date, but you should be able to give them an approximate time, such as a specific month or during summer vacation.
Choose a Time and Place That Will Work for Your Family
There isn’t one “right” way to approach this type of conversation. Find a time when everyone will be relaxed. It may be best to cook your kids’ favorite meal and discuss the move over dinner, or it may be better to bring it up while you’re going for a hike in the woods. It’s important to discuss the upcoming move as a family so all your kids can hear about it at the same time.
Be Prepared for Your Children’s Reactions
Moving can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, but it can be harder for kids because they don’t have control over the situation and may not fully understand what it means. Answer your kids’ questions to the best of your ability. Focus on specific, positive things about the place where you will be living and tell your kids how they will be able to keep in touch with friends in your old city.