Moving with children can be a challenging endeavor, so here are a few tips to make the transition smoother.
Keep in mind that every child will react differently to moving, so help yours understand his/her emotions and learn how to address them positively.
1. Make it a family affair
Moving can be an emotional upheaval for children. It can be hard to let go of old friendships and routines.
Maintaining open lines of communication and adopting an optimistic outlook are important ways to help both you and your child navigate the stress associated with relocation. Keep in mind that children adapt differently.
Help your child adjust to a move by finding opportunities in their new community that could benefit them – be it new friends, sports teams or activities at school – then highlight those possibilities and show your child the bright side.
2. Let them help
Relocating can be challenging for everyone, but especially young children. They may feel uneasy leaving friends or their home behind and adapting to a new school and neighborhood.
Engaging children in the move can create an engaging experience for all involved, with them helping with simple tasks like packing toys or labeling boxes.
Explain why you are moving and ease their worries by explaining any potential benefits such as new job opportunities or being closer to family. These factors may include improved quality of life.
When the time comes for packing their things, let your child decorate a small box to contain their most treasured possessions and assure them their stuff will be safe in your car when moving day arrives. This activity will provide plenty of distraction and give them assurance their most precious things will not get left behind.
3. Let them know what to expect
Moving is always stressful, but especially so for young children. They may experience feelings of sorrow at having to leave familiar surroundings behind, so it is crucial that adults are sensitive and empathic during this transitional phase.
Help them through their sadness by creating a safe space where they can share their emotions and ask any questions that arise.
Once they’ve relocated, you should highlight all of the opportunities in their new community. Show how they’ll have access to meeting new friends, discovering fun activities and places of interest, joining clubs or sports teams they weren’t previously part of, etc.
Children may experience emotional stress during a move, so be prepared for possible meltdowns by keeping a comfort bag filled with their favorite toys and things that help them feel at home – and remember they can rely on you to reassure and stay calm.
4. Make it fun
Moving is always stressful for children, but you can ease their fears by keeping things entertaining with games and music. Pack boxes or plan your child’s new room using games as you move forward – keeping their interest alive through entertainment can make the whole experience smoother for both of you!
Allow your children to help pack their rooms – that way they will feel more involved and invested in the process. Be sure to include some fun surprises for them at their new home like books or toys they will love!
Make the transition more fun by visiting your new town or city with your children before moving day, showing them all its attractions and shopping areas.
5. Give them time
Children may struggle to adjust to changes they feel powerless over, leading to anger, sadness or anxiety.
But the good news is that you can help make their transition smoother by giving them plenty of time to adapt to their new environment.
Give them time to adjust to their new home, neighborhood, school and surroundings – this process may take months; the sooner they feel at ease the better for your children!
One of the first steps you should take when making a move with your child is giving them reason to believe that they’re in control and safeguarding their happiness and well-being. That can include promising that you’ll always be there as their source of support, no matter what.