When I was much younger, our family had lived in one place near Houston, TX for most of my earlier school years. I attended the same school throughout my elementary and middle school years. One day my father came home to tell us that the family would be moving to Austin due to the real estate market slowing down in our area. My father was a broker and operated our family business. Juts the thought of having to move brought sadness and heartbreak on myself and my brother. We would have to leave behind good friends we had known our entire lives, the fishing pond where we had so many great memories and so much more. I hope no one ever has to experience how I felt leaving behind the only life I had known, but if you do here’s what my parents did to ensure that life would be alright in the end.
I would be entering my high school years with strangers instead of the friends I had grown up with. I would have to make new friends, find new places to hang out at, places to eat…basically, I would have to rebuild the life I had. I had never experienced moving before and hated it. If it wasn’t for my parents this experience would have been even tougher.
When we moved from Houston to Austin, we had to sell our house fast due to our family needing the capital to obtain another home. The market in Houston had slowed down tremendously and our father new this is what we had to do. This decision was undoubtedly stressful on my parents and I know this decision wasn’t easy for them either. However, even with all they were dealing with they took the time to talk with both of us. My parents patiently listened as I rambled off like a million reasons why I hated this idea (well, it really wasn’t a million but it sure felt like it at the time). They both took a sincere interest on how I felt and tried to calm my emotion and ease my heartbreak.
They brought us up to Austin prior to the move to show us around the area, the new school we would be attending and other points of interest. By doing this, it helped prepare me for the new life ahead of us. By doing this, they enabled me to see that there was so much to do and life could get back to normal after the move.
Our family has now made Austin, TX "Home" for the past 35 years. Although the move was hard at first for all of us, we eventually fell in love with the area, weather and the wonderful new friends we have made. I am now the broker of the family real estate business since my Dad has retired. Looking back to all those years ago, I’m grateful my parents took the time to address my fears, my concerns, and the loss I felt in my heart.
To sum up what I’ve been rambling on about is when faced with a life-changing move with your family, take the time to talk with your kids and listen. Try to understand how they feel, let them know you care, answer questions they might have (even the really goofy ones, like where’s the nearest fishing pond) and why the move is necessary for the family. Be transparent with your kids like my parents were all those years ago. Kids are smarter than you think and they can tell how you really feel. Being a parent isn’t always easy, but with events like this in life, you have to stay positive for the sanctity of your family.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.