One of the hardest things for a parent to endure is seeing the heartbreak on their children’s faces when forced to leave family and friends due to a move. It’s even worse when that move takes you so far afield that you are literally unable to get together for weekend barbeques, birthdays and perhaps even major holidays like Christmas.
Experts warn that it is hard on adults but moving to a new location is harder on children who need structure in order to survive. Familiar faces and places are part of that structure so it is up to you to take that right along with you. How? Here are some creative fun ways to preserve memories when moving abroad with kids.
1) Make a Memory Box
One of the best ways to help a child bring friends, family and familiar places with them is to create a memory box. In this box you can collect pictures and significant trinkets that they can pull out when feeling especially glum. Perhaps it’s a toy ring that a neighbor child gave them or a picture of grandma and grandpa at their birthday party. Some children collect tiny stones from the garden whilst others take snippets of hair from their best friend. As long as it can be packed neatly in the box, anything that helps them remember is great.
One of the way to bring pictures along is to create custom Imprintables. These can be done professionally and are not limited to clothing. Some parents find it easiest to have T-shirts printed at their local print shop whilst others find innovative Imprintables that require interaction. These can be found online. One great example is Stave jigsaw puzzles that are custom crafted from wood and can be made as complex or simple as you desire. They can imprint the puzzle with literally any picture you want and as children take them out to put them together, they think about the person (or thing) they are assembling. What a novel way to keep memories alive!
3) Video Recordings
A few years ago this wouldn’t have been practical as few families actually owned a video recorder. Today, even the least expensive mobile phones have video recording capabilities and it is quite easy to take short little videos of people, places and even things they want to ‘carry along’ with them. In fact, you aren’t even limited by the amount of space on the phone because little memory cards are not very expensive and can hold literally hours of video recording. Some of those micro SD cards actually hold more than some laptops!
Try to make the move easier on your children by helping them to realize that they can take their memories right along with them. Instead of trying to make little of their feelings, let them know you understand. It may not be possible to avoid the move but it is possible to make it easier on all involved.