Moving is a really big job: it’s demanding and stressful, not only on adults, but especially on kids. Moving is a juggling act and it requires attention to detail. One of the most important details is figuring out ways to make things easier on your children when it comes to changing homes. Whether it’s the first move you’ve ever made with them, or your fifth, relocating your family to a new place can cause anxiety. To make the transition smoother, here are some tips on how to prepare your kids for the move.
Tip #1: Try to make the transition as easy as possible.
Relocating homes? This can affect your kids greatly – sometimes more than you know. Oftentimes, they’ll have to leave their friends or school in addition to what they have come to know as their home and familiar surroundings. For some kids, this can trigger painful emotions. So, while you’re preparing to move, try to keep communication as open as possible. Talk about moving in a positive way. Allow each child to express their concerns or their fears, if they have any. Also, try to keep their daily routines the same as possible. Throughout the process, be sure that they are made to feel supported and loved. The more stable you can make the transition feel, the better.
Tip #2: Let them be involved.
Throughout moving preparations, keep your kids aware of what is happening and let them be involved with some of the tasks. Allow them to help pack boxes with you, especially their room, or write and label the boxes. Let them pack their favorite items and pack them in a special box and decorate it. Or, give them a camera to take pictures of their old room to look back on when they are older. And once you’re moved into your new house, let them pick out a color for the walls or give them ownership in decorating their room.
Tip #3: Get plugged into the new neighborhood.
Once you’re settled into your new home and neighborhood, help your kids make friends by getting involved in local neighborhood activities. Explore new parks in the area and sign them up for a sport team in the area if they are interested. Spend time outside taking walks or playing in the front yard so your kids can meet other children in the neighborhood.
Tip #4: Fill the new home with familiar things.
Moving away from everything that is familiar is a very difficult aspect of moving. Integrate things from your old home into the new home so it feels familiar and not so new. In addition, keep rituals the same, too, so your child’s schedule and routine isn’t really thrown off. For example, do you always have tacos on Tuesday or pizza and a movie every Friday? Keep those types of traditions in place. The little things make a difference!
Most of all, remember that your kids will pick up on the attitudes you express about the moving process and this can rub off on them – either in a positive or negative way! The bottom line: it’s easier for your kids to adjust well if you’re trying to adjust well, too!