Well, the summer is in full swing here in Augusta, Georgia, and when our kiddo isn’t at the pool or running through the fountains at the park, he can be seen swinging through the air on the monkey bars or being twirled in circles on the merry-go-round. While he is relatively care-free playing with his friends and delving into many books at the library, I have been struggling with how to prepare him for yet another move at the end of the summer.
My husband, Neil, is set to graduate from his Warrant Officer Basic Course on Aug. 23. God willing, he will pass all his tests and complete the last phase of Warrant Officer training. Then, he will go back to Army Reserve status, unless he decides to go AGR (Active Guard Reserve.)
So, it looks like we will definitely move again, and we have only been living here since January.
While my son, Caden, has moved quite a bit during his short seven years, I think this year, at this age, will be the hardest. He has made some real connections and is getting old enough to worry more about the unknown. Hopefully, we will be at our next location for much longer and we can try to build a sense of stability for him there.
But, for now, I’m trying to counsel him in simple terms, and some of my best ideas have been inspired while at the playground:
The Monkey Bars
Yeah, those swinging metal bars that, as an adult, I only wish I had enough muscle mass to conquer. For a long time, my tall, lanky child had his own challenges on them. While younger children would fly across them, my husband or I would often have to prop Caden up on our shoulders as he swung across. Well, the philosopher in me finds these bars to be quite symbolic.
First, I reminded Caden how it was scary for him the first time he looked across and realized it was a good drop down. He wouldn’t make a move without his father or me beneath him. I tried to relate this to moving.
I said even though this next move may seem scary, your parents will be with you to support you the whole time. Like on the bars, you just have to focus on one ring at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be on the other side. You’ll be swinging through the air and having a great time. And there are always new things to explore on the other side of the playground.
I guess at one point in my childhood I liked it, but nowadays, I hate anything that makes me dizzy. Caden likes to spin me in circles on a chair we have at home and laughs and laughs when I scream that I’m getting sick. The merry-go-round is an even better thrill, as children hold on for dear life as adults make their world spin out of control.
I tried to explain to Caden the reason why we get so dizzy is because our eyes don’t have time to focus on one point. I explained how, when you feel like the world is going too fast and you just want it to stop and hop off, all you need to do is focus.
Focus on things that are the same and aren’t changing. Some children have a favorite toy that goes everywhere with them, others just like to play the same video game over and over. Maybe you can let them know that your routine may be different for a short time, but then there will be school once more, libarary trips, movie trips, friends to play with, etc. Also, I like to talk about the new place we are moving with my child, show him pictures, and explain the new fun and exciting things that await. Looking forward to the future is a focal point in itself.
How do you handle discussing a move with your child? Comment with your own advice or favorite books that address the subject.