There was a point close to the actual move date, when we were scrambling to pack up when it hit me what I was feeling and that at least my older son must be feeling it (due to his stress over the move). I was alone with my kids since my husband was already moved to the other state and working.
There is a feeling some people can get that they are losing themselves or leaving their real self behind when moving to a new place. I bet not everyone can relate to this but it was what I was feeling. In letting go of personal possessions and things that had memories attached as well as leaving the house we loved and our land and our family and friends, it really can feel that we are losing a part of who we are. Knowing that I'd never see that view of the sunrise or that view of the sunset or that view out the window of the huge red oaks profiled against the blue sky while hearing the sound of the windchimes and the call of the red shouldered hawk was painful to experience.
I sat down with my kids and told them that who we are as people is inside of us, in our soul and in our mind. I said that when we leave one place to go to another place we are really still the same person inside it is just that our body is in a new location, just like when we go on a vacation and travel we are still whole in person in mind, body, and spirit but we have just traveled somewhere else.
My older son related to this and I will not share all of what he said or how he reacted but I can share that it was exactly what he was feeling, a sense that he was losing who he was, that his identity was in jeopardy.
I told my kids that the people they are that make kids want to be their friends will still exist in Texas and that they would meet new kids that would want to be their friends. Plus, they had it even better because they would have more abundance than the kids who were not moving as they would have their old friendships that they could continue to cultivate if they wanted to plus they would have new friends, so they would have double the goodness!
The talk really seemed to help my older son. My younger son has handled the move very well emotionally and with ease. My younger son is a really stable kid who is up for anything and likes new adventures and is not afraid of change or challenges. When recently asked if he would travel for a month by train to go across Europe in the coldest part of winter (which had me cringing at the winter part) his eyes lit up and he said, "Who cares about the temperature?" and he begged to go. My older son said, "I'm not going anywhere in winter, if I go to Europe I want it to be comfortable weather outside. I'd rather not go than be cold. You two can go and I'll stay home and stay warm in my comfortable bed."
It's amazing how two kids raised by the same two parents can be so different...
About talking to kids you may be surprised if you talk openly with them about topics they do respond. I think it is better to discuss emotions and to acknowledge them and to help teach them how to process them and ways to reframe their thinking about a situation in order to try to teach them coping mechanisms. I do not think it is healthy to ignore emotions and to pretend they do not exist if they are not spoken about. It is best to ask how a kid is feeling than to assume everything is okay.
I tell my kids it is okay to feel their emotions but how they react and act is their choice and not all options are open to them. It is okay to feel angry but it is not okay to throw objects across the room when angry. It is okay to cry (even if you are a boy or a teen) but if you want to save face with friends perhaps hold back those tears until you can get to a private place rather than throwing a crying tantrum fit as a three year old would in public.
Once an emotion and a problem is identified we look for ways to solve it if it can be solved. When I knew both of my kids were lonely with no friends just after the move I reminded them that the time of the year was before Boy Scouts started, before crew started, and before the homeschool events started. However I was already working hard to find out about those activities and to enroll my sons into them so they'd be ready to begin as soon as everything started up. I showed them that I was doing the best I could and that the situation was temporary and that it was okay to feel those emotions and hopefully soon they'd start making friends when all the activities started up. At that point in time they had to just live with feeling the emotion and getting on with life day by day until the calendar advanced to the date when the various activities would begin. They had to learn to cope with the problem and live with the negative emotion until the situation changed and the problem was resolved.
I am happy to report that my kids are both making friends either in the neighborhood, at crew, or at Boy Scouts. As more and more events happen the kid's eperiences with the other kids builds and memories are created and friendships start to deepen. So far the majority of kids here have surprised us by being very friendly and open to making new friends.