Moving is one of the top 5 most stressful life events for an adult. Can you imagine what it’s like for your children? Often, small children are leaving the comfort of the only environment they have known. Older ones may have to adjust to a new school, new friends, teachers and deal with those they will leave behind.
It’s important to be sensitive to children’s needs. Here are some tips to help make the process easier for you and the whole family unit.
- Talk about the move. Let them know when it’s going to happen and where they are going. Highlight what the good points. Maybe it’s a bigger room; the new house may be in close proximity to a park or entertainment complex. Allow your children to ask question and answer them directly, honestly and sensitively.
- Include your children. Guide them and help them pack their things and make sure that favorite items are readily accessible once they have gone to the new place. Favorite stuffed animals, a blanket or toys can offer a sense of security.
- Discuss the new living space. If the child is old enough, you might draw the layout of the new room. Help them visualize where furniture will placed, where the room is in the house or apartment. This can help the child begin to feel connected to and even look forward to the move and the space.
- Make arrangement for little ones. There is a lot of upheaval, stress and movement on moving day and little one get overwhelmed and underfoot. If at all possible, have them stay with friends or family. It will give you space to focus on the task at hand.
- Communicate with your teens. Discuss “their” moving day experience. What they can expect, how computers, clothes and other items that they value will be handled. It’s important that they feel that their things are being respected and that they have a voice.
- Give children something to do. On moving day, the last thing you need is bored, complaining children. Plan activities such as coloring books, puzzles, handheld games or other favorite activities.
- Enroll children in activities. Make sure to enroll children in activities that they are normally participate in such as sports, scouts or music lessons.
- Take care of yourself. Get a good night’s sleep, have a plan and be patient on the day of the move. Your children will feed off of your energy. If you are rested and calm, you will be better equipped to deal with unexpected tantrums or stress.