Your relocating employees have a lot on their minds, and it’s safe to say that dealing with the emotions and concerns of children who are relocating with them doesn’t make a big move any easier. Even small moves across town can be hard on kids, but overseas moves mean kids will both isolated from the habits, people, and environment that they’re used to, and need to adapt quickly to new environments. Luckily, kids are usually quite resilient and adaptable, and they will most likely rise to the challenge (some may even embrace the adventure!). But you can help employees relocate with kids by providing them with these helpful ideas about making the move easier on them.
Keep kids informed
With so much going on during a move, it’s easy to neglect to keep kids informed with plans and schedules. Your employee can help his or her children feel more relaxed and comfortable by explaining the loving process, and what it really entitles. Kids will feel more prepared if they know about their new home city and school. Exploring the move can even be turned into a fun experience. Your employees can show their kids websites and books about their new home, and read children’s books about moving.
Involve Kids in Decisions and Responsibilities
Your employees should make an effort to help their kids feel like they are an important part of the decision making process when it comes to the big move. They can hold family meetings to get input about which neighborhood seems the best, what furniture and household goods can stay behind and which should be relocated along with the family, and other important moving technicalities. Kids should also be given moving-specific tasks to complete, like helping to clean, pack, and plan. When employees relocate with kids, their children will feel more in-control, and proud of their role if they are directly involved.
Plan a timely relocation
You can help your employees relocate with kids by planning their transfers at a time of year that makes the most sense, based on the school year. Relocation will be easier on families with kids if they can arrive in their new city during the summer, before the beginning of school. This way, kids avoid the potentially awkward experience of entering classrooms and trying to make new friends midway through the year, when friendships have already been established and the curriculum is already underway. Summer moves also give families more time to explore their new surroundings and settle in before things get busy with kids’ schedules.
Keep some toys accessible
Packing up a whole house takes a lot of time and effort, so it can begin weeks before the physical move. To help keep kids happy and surrounded by familiarity during this process, its a good idea for your relocating employees to hold off on packing up all their children’s toys, and when they finally do, the boxes they are packed in should be clearly marked and easy to find when they show up in the new house. It’s also a good strategy to pack a bag of toys that can stay with the kids throughout the entire move, even on the place. Kids will be comforted by their favorite teddy bears and books.
Plan a Going Away Party
Not only can a a good bye party give kids the opportunity to bid farewell to friends, family members and more of the most important people in their lives. It also turns the experience of moving into a more exciting event – something worth celebrating. When employees relocate with kids, or without, the formalities and necessities of the move can over shadow the positive elements, and what better what to bring back that sense of excitement than with a celebration.