Tomorrow is a big day. The Bacon family boards a plane and flies across the continent to our new home in North Carolina. Here I sit two weeks after closing on the sale of our house enjoying the most gorgeous Alaskan view from my parents’ house while we live out of suitcases. It’s the strangest feeling.
So displaced, yet so at home.
Our children have known about this impending move for a mere three months, though Jeremy and I have been praying about it for much longer. I wrote a little more about it on my blog right here if you’d like to hear more of the story.
It’s been fast and furious, but after the initial shock wore off, our kids have owned this adventure and have handled it really well. Like, really well.
I’ve been extremely proud of their flexibility — even though every single one of our hearts are broken about leaving at the same time. We’re in that awkward spot where we look expectantly to the future, but we haven’t yet said goodbye to the people and place we love, so it feels like we’re cheating on our loved ones to be too happy about what’s next. Do you know what I mean?
Even though we still have a great deal of transition up ahead in the next few months, we’ve already leapt several transitional hurdles this summer, and I’ve learned a few things. Here are 3 ways I’ve learned to help our kids make these transitions. Whether you’re moving like us, or just making a change that affects one or all members of the family, maybe these will help:
1. Be Honest About How it Makes You Feel.
I’m the sort of mom who doesn’t shy away from showing my kids life can be painful. We’ve walked many tough miles as a family, and I couldn’t imagine my kids thinking mom and dad are robotically “fine” no matter what we face. Our kids have seen the pain this move is causing. They’ve seen tears (gallons of them) and they’ve felt free to show theirs and voice how they feel about everything. I think this is so healthy. Kids transition well when we show them they’re normal by showing and telling how we really feel about it.
2. Get Them Involved.
Sometimes it’s tempting for parents to make every single decision about a big move, a new home, a new school, or even a new vehicle without inviting their kids in. Our kids have transitioned well so far partly because we’ve introduced them to their new state over the internet, allowed them to Google Map it to death, and search for houses to buy. My sister gave me this advice. Their family has moved several times over the years, and are in the middle of their own transition as we speak. Help them take a vested interest by letting them learn about their new environment on their own, and even let them help make a few decisions if possible.
3. Keep It Positive.
While above I recommended we be honest with our kids about how the transition is affecting us, it will also bode well for us to check our attitude. If we have a crummy attitude about a transition, our kids probably will too. A negative outlook is a direct correlation to the amount of trust we have in God. It’s true. Do we trust God to see us through this transition? If we’re negative about it, perhaps we need to take a little time to put our trust in its proper place. The God of the universe is fully capable of seeing us through anything He guides us toward. Let’s keep that in mind when we’re stressed and having a hard time transitioning ourselves. This takes time, but let’s not forget to get outside of ourselves and help our kids transition with a positive outlook.
Would you like to follow along on our journey? I’ve been documenting over on Instagram, come join us! Would you say a prayer for Anne-Renee and I too? This transition is super hard on the two of us. We’ll miss being together so very much. Thank you, friends.