With most families, the decision to move is made by the parents, usually out of economic considerations. The move is not always convenient for their children in terms of its emotional or social timing. Analyzing drawings in such cases provides insight into the child’s emotional status in the period leading up to the move, and the emotional tools he may need to “survive” it. We recommend analyzing all children’s drawings and tailor different tools for each.
The moving process can have a profound emotional effect on your children. Analyzing their drawings will provide you with tools to make it easier for each child to cope with such relocation according to his needs, character, personality and stress level. Separating from a familiar environment and close friends is painful for many children. Some even experience it as abandonment.
The parents of the five-and-a-half year-old boy, who made this drawing, moved to a different country, and he found it hard to adjust. His drawings indicated that the source of his difficulties was the move itself. They were characterized by regression which is typical of children under distress.
Like many others, the drawing shown here, for example, focuses on home, indicating that this issue is emotionally laden for him. We could also see how, unlike his pre-move drawings, he failed to draw the doors and windows so as to “prevent” entry and exit or in other words, prevent the move from occurring.
Moving? Here are some tips:
The physical act of moving is short and simple, but the emotional act of moving is slow and less structured. Help your child overcome the separation and share his feelings. Be prepared to contain your child’s anger and dissatisfaction with the new environment. It may be that he does not view it as an experience or a new beginning, but rather as the end of a pleasant childhood experience in the old house.
- Prepare a box of souvenirs or a photo album
- Share the news about the move. Try to present reality as it is rather than sugarcoat it. This way, your child will be better prepared to cope with the post-move crisis. Adjust your style of sharing as well as the advance warning time to your child’s age – children aged 2-3.5 should be informed right before the move itself.
- Have the child pack with you. This specific moment when people enter the house to empty it of belongings can be particularly stressful for some children.
Need more information and tools to help your child adjust to the new place? Contact us now for professional analysis of your child’s drawings and an expert opinion on their personality, character and ability to cope with the move.
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