Explaining any change that your family is about to go through can be a tough and difficult subject to broach with your children, in particular, if the change involves big decisions and breakthrough for your family unit. From telling your kids that they are getting a new sibling to moving house or even that Grandpa and Grandma are going into a residential home, if this affects their daily routine, then the is a chance that your children will not cope with the change. However, this does not mean that you need to admit defeat right from the get-go. In fact, talking to your kids about change will teach them a valuable life lesson, plus it teaches them to be individuals who can act quickly on their feet and are ready for whatever life throws at them.
Before talking to your kids about change, it is vital that you use your instinct and pick the right moment. If your children are tired, cranky and in a bad mood, then they are less likely to want to listen to any news that is going to upset them or cause distress. Similarly, do not save the news for key family bonding time such as dinners or trips that you take each weekend to the park. Make sure that you establish a set time and date to sit down with your kids and tell them the news. If you are telling your kids that they are about to gain a new sibling, then be prepared for tears or tantrums, but do not panic, as this is a normal reaction for a child who has been used to not having to share their parents. Explain to your older children that you do not love them even less, simply that Mom and Dad want them to have another sibling to play with – and that there is more than enough love to go around.
A new sibling
Telling your kids that they are getting a new brother or sister is incredibly happy and exciting news to share, so make sure that your kids share your emotions in the weeks and months up to the birth. Be sure to encourage your kids to ask any questions that they may have about pregnancy, and let younger children be involved in any big decisions regarding the baby. You could also get your kids involved in helping you to prepare your home for the new arrival, by encouraging them to help you choose the color scheme and decorations for the nursery. Explain to your little ones that they are now going to be the big brother or sister, which is a very important and special role to play. Be sure to highlight that they will be loved just the same and make sure that your kids are involved in preparing and getting ready for your new arrival so that you can all enjoy this magical time together.
Moving home and changing where you and your family currently live is a difficult and upsetting concept for any child, no matter their age, to deal with. The thought of having to move hundreds of miles away to a new neighborhood and new school can be distressing for some children, in particular, if they have just started to make new friends. Younger children will find it difficult to disassociate from everyday occurrences or stops that you make to and from school or kindergarten – such as where you cross the road, or maybe even the big tree that you drive past on the way. When telling your younger kids that you are moving home, be sure to only tell them about a month in advance. Be prepared for any reaction, frustration, confusion, and angst – but accept this as a perfectly normal phase and allow your child to come to terms with the fact that you are moving. Make sure that you get your kids involved in preparing for your removal, by packing up their favorite toys and sorting which items that they want to take with them to your new home. You can also encourage them to visit new schools with you, and be sure to highlight if there are opportunities for them to continue with their favorites sports and hobbies, or even try new ones, in the town or city that you are moving to. Make sure that the experience is a positive and enjoyable one for your entire family.
Divorce or choosing the right time for your own parents to go into care can be a tough topic to talk through with your little ones. If they are very close to Grandpa or Grandma, then they may not understand why your parents need a little extra care, and view it as a positive rather than negative development. Be sure to explain to your kids that you want their Grandparents to be happy, safe and healthy. Make sure that your kids also understand that they can enjoy visits and spend the same amount of time with their Grandparents also. If this particular lifestyle change is potentially occurring in your life, click to learn more here. Explain why these changes need to happen, and be honest and prepared for any questions that your children may have – as these could lead to deeper debates or discussions. It is vital that you are prepared for however your kids want to react or respond to familial changes and get ready, to be honest, and open in return.
Talking to your kids about any kind of change can be challenging and difficult for parents, in particular, if you are worried about upsetting your child or damaging the current relationship that you have with them. However, it is important that you encourage your kids to sit down and be honest and open about just how they feel. Plus, you need to make sure that they still feel safe and loved no matter the changes that are about to affect them. From moving home to gaining a new sibling, your kids will soon be prepared for whatever life throws their way. So choose a date and do not delay, your children will thank you for it.