Inside Out is a movie about the emotions inside a young girl named Riley, who moved across the country from Minnesota to San Francisco.
I should know. My job as a pastor has us moving more often than most. We’ve had to move twice already in the past nine years once across the country just like Riley.
At the time, Emma was only 5 years old and about to go into kindergarten. She hadn’t yet built up the network of friends she would leave behind in our second move. At age 8, we moved again and as I was picking up around the house after everyone had fallen asleep, I found this note:
Many times, as Emma watched Riley struggling with being in a new place, she would nod and say quietly, “I know how she feels.”
I know that if we were to move again, it would be even tougher. But in my line of work, another move is inevitable. Here are some things that we found makes moving easier for her. If you’ve got a move in your future, they might help you, too.
1. Take your child with you when you visit the new city.
When we came to check out our new community, we took Emma with us each and every time. It gave her a chance to kind of know the place before we made the official move. She was able to see that this new city was similar in some ways to the one she already knew.
2. Let them help in the decision-making process.
Emma was only 8, but old enough to know what she likes. We were moving into a three-bedroom house and so we let her choose which room she wanted. We also let her decide where she wanted the bed, what she wanted to hang up on the walls, and went shopping to really make it her space.
3. Talk to them about the move without offering “advice.”
As parents, we are used to giving our kids advice on how to handle things, but once in a while it’s a good idea to just listen and show empathy. Acknowledge the anxiety and fear they are going through, normalize it, and share your own fears and doubts. Then reassure them that you will help them through it no matter what.