I’ve learned a lot this week, and one of the biggest lessons of all was how much my children crave stability. In the last few weeks we moved into a new house in a neighboring town, my son started 1st grade in a new school, and my 3 ½ year-old daughter started pre-school. Besides the large amount of work that goes into moving and changing your address, my husband and I have been really happy and excited. I love a good opportunity to re-organize and start fresh. We were previously renting because when we moved from Vancouver, BC to Idaho we wanted time to learn the area. Owning a home now feels like a blessing. I’m excited to really make the place our own instead of living what felt like half way, not wanting to hang our favorite pictures and fully move in.
My kids on the other hand are a completely different story. I do believe they love their new home. It was easier on them to move this time in that they still get to see the friends they made in the area, even though they are not attending the same school. But the difficulty of change is bubbling up to the surface in interesting ways and I can sense it in their demeanor.
Currently, my son is often feeling anxious and crying more than usual about things that may seem small to you or me. We have to remind ourselves to be very patient, compassionate, and not judge what it is that upsets him. His new public school is very intimidating compared to the tiny private kindergarten he attended with a small classroom size and a lot of individual attention. Trying to figure out how to find his classroom, locker, make new friends, ride the bus, and especially the lunch system are very confusing for him. When he feels anxious he doesn’t function at his best, and things that may seem simple to an adult are difficult for a child.
I see in his eyes how hard change is on him, and how much he craves stability. While my husband and I adapt well to change, and often embrace and enjoy change because it feels like a new adventure, it is not the same with kids. I know for me I handle change now completely differently than I did as a child. It seems kids adapt because they have to, but they are not capable of handling the stress in the same way.
This move has really made me want to provide a long term stable home for my children, to consider the importance of stability in their overall happiness and put it as a much higher priority in our lives. I want our kids to consider their home a safe, secure, stable environment, and not fear us pulling the rug out from underneath them. It has been a real eye opener and even though I know I can’t predict the future, I do know stability for my children will be a much bigger consideration than it previously was.
How do you help your children with change? As a child, do you remember craving stability? Do you consider stability important in your family’s life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
With love & gratitude,