Moving is never an easy process. Picking up and moving to a new house or a new city packs its own boxes of stress and anxiety for anyone, and for children, those emotions can be even more elevated. Here are some tips to help you and your kids make the move and ease the transition into your new home!
Talk About the Move
Children experience levels of anxiety and stress just like adults when dealing with the reality of a move. Properly preparing and communicating with them can help reduce the worry and help them adapt to their new home. For toddlers and preschoolers, begin talking about your move a month in advance. For older kids, you should consider including them even earlier because the reality of moving is usually harder on older kids. Moving away from family, friends, and familiarity isn’t easy, so encourage them to talk about the move and express their feelings. For all children, don’t just talk about what will be different with the move, be sure to focus on the things that will stay the same.
Learn About Your New Area
If you’re relocating to a new area, take some time to learn as much as you can about the neighborhood and community. Find a new activity or an interesting place that your kids might like to explore after you settle in to your new home. Spend a day touring the new area, walking the neighborhood and exploring the town. Pull up pictures of your soon-to-be new home and show them to your children prior to the move to get them excited on this new venture.
Pack With a Purpose
Depending on their age, letting your child pack allows them to have ownership and responsibility in the moving process. They might even have fun doing it! Label the boxes so they learn how to keep their items organized. Their most prized possessions should go in a special tote specifically for moving day that contains special toys and snacks. No need to frantically run around your new home searching for Bobby’s favorite teddy bear!
Be as Consistent as Possible
One of the keys to making the move go smoothly for a child is to keep as much as you can the same. For younger children, stick to the same bedtime routine as much as possible. Maintaining normal routines like eating family meals together creates consistency that is reassuring to kids, especially when they are in an unfamiliar environment.
Moving can be very stressful for children, but when you take the time to help them with this transition, it can make all the difference!