3 Family Milestones and How to Prepare for Them
Change is inevitable – and over the course of a lifetime most families will find themselves going through plenty of changes. Milestones such as welcoming a new sibling, moving, and adopting pets, are all life events that growing families may experience. Below are three significant family milestones and how you and your family can best prepare for them.
Welcoming a New Baby
Family additions are a great way to bring your family closer. With all the excitement surrounding this milestone, it’s important to feel prepared. To check if you and your family are ready for the new addition, there are a couple of things to look out for. If you’re welcoming a new baby, you’ll want to make sure your older kids are ready as well. Start by communicating with your kids about the changes that may occur. You’ll want to be understanding of their feelings as they may start to experience emotions such as confusion or anticipation. To combat this, help them understand their future role as a “big sibling.” The more familiar and ready they feel, the less likely they’ll experience any confusion when the time comes.
Another way to help your children adapt is to include them when preparing for the baby. This could mean taking them on baby related shopping trips or putting the nursery together. Involving your older child can help them feel like they have a responsibility during this time. It’s also important to make sure that your older children are having quality time with their parents once the baby is born. This will help to limit feelings such as jealousy or feeling left out. Consider planning some fun activities for some one-on-one time with your child. Welcoming a new baby is an exciting time for the whole family! With older children there are certain steps that can be taken to help prepare them for this new reality.
9.8% of Americans move annually, making this milestone a common one. Moving can be a stressful life event for families. With kids there’s an added layer of difficulty to moving as well. When preparing for a move there are certain steps that can be taken to minimize stress. Start by taking the time to find the best new home for your family. Knowing that you and your family are moving to a safe and reliable area will give you peace of mind during this stressful time.
Moving can also take a financial toll on a lot of parents. Since moving can be an expensive process, it’s important to stick to a budget and be organized. A good first step is to obtain a mortgage preapproval as this will help you confirm your budget and how much you can afford. Once your budget is set, come up with a plan on how to stick to it. Knowing that your finances are in order and that you’re sticking to a plan will help keep your stress levels low.
When moving with kids, involving them in the moving process can help create feelings of excitement. Ways to include them could be decorating their new bedroom or hosting a going away party. With a going away party, older children will be able to get closure as well as be with their friends. Another option is to create a memory box so that your child can reminisce and cope in a healthy way. Your child’s mental health should be made a priority as this transition may be hard on them. Giving them the right tools will help ease their worries.
Adopting a Pet
Adopting a pet is an exciting time for any family! Pet adoption has a variety of benefits for families. These include helping young children understand responsibility and even providing a sense of comfort and love. Studies have shown that having a pet improves behavior and social development in young children. No matter what kind of pet you’re adopting, you’ll want to do appropriate research on it to make sure you and your family are adequately prepared. Begin by pet-proofing your home. Pets tend to get into every area of your home so it’s crucial that your space is as safe as possible. Get rid of any loose wires, put the garbage out of reach, and lay down pee pads in case of accidents. When adopting a pet, make sure you’re stocked up on supplies. This includes food, cleaning supplies, bedding, and toys. Going to the pet store as a family is a great way to make memories as well as prepare for your new addition.
Embracing change can be a difficult feat, but some change can be exciting! Going through milestones as a family will help you feel closer by making more memories together. Being prepared for these evolving milestones is one of the best things you can do as a family to help limit feeling overwhelmed.