We liked this blog post from the Relocation Guru….about involving children in relocation plan. Have a great weekend! It is Spring in Omaha on January 6th!
Once, I encountered a child who refused to get out of the car to look at schools or potential homes. He sat in the backseat, sullen-faced and cross, embarrassing his mother dreadfully. His defiance was there for all to see. His mother, single and bringing him up alone, had to deal with his negativity along with her new top job that would release her from years of financial struggle and hardship from which she had finally emerged.
But I later found out that the mother had only informed her 13-year-old child of the relocation just a few days before. Though she had imagined an orientation trip, arriving from the United States to Amsterdam, would be a fantastic opportunity for the pair, it was rushed, final, and there had been no chance for her boy to offer his own input into the decision making.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen too often that parents inform their children about potential relocation too late in the game. It may seem like a way to avoid stress for the child, but the very fact that all is already set in stone by the time they are told is way more stressful. There is something to be said for allowing all family members to say their piece before the decision is made.
Involve your children in the decision-making; let them “own” part of the process. Present the facts and reality of the situation, and allow them to find their own way to deal with their needs and requirements. Putting each and every individual involved at the centre of the process will make for a smoother transition. While parents do need to put their own requirements at the top of a list, don’t lose sight of the crucial adjustment period needed by children of all ages, especially teenagers, who thrive on their familiar peer group.