Moving can be stressful for everyone in the family. There are home sales, new jobs, boxes, furniture, and utilities to consider, not to mention the loss of all your connections to your old neighborhood. But no matter how much stress you are under, your kids may have a harder time, and you may be dealing with hurt feelings and hyperactive behavior from the little ones on top of everything. With all the changes happening to your family, here are a few ways you can make the moving process easier on your children:
Prepare Them Early
Tell your kids about the move at least a few weeks before, giving them plenty of time to ask questions. Talk to them about the reality of changing schools and no longer seeing their friends every day. They may also be moving further away from relatives, babysitters, or other important people. Point out the positive aspects of the move, and make it clear that the important things in their life will stay the same, but remember to avoid setting their expectations too high. They could easily be let down if the move starts to sound a little too fun.
Get Them Involved
Moving is a lot less scary for kids when they understand the process as much as possible. Take them with you to hunt for houses or to visit your new place before you move. Show them their room and let them see the neighborhood. You can also get them involved in packing—this is one of the best ways to get your kids on board with the idea of moving. Giving them easy tasks like packing books will help them cope with seeing the contents of their familiar home taped up in boxes. When the time comes, your kids might actually be excited to unpack at the new house and set up their rooms.
Let Them Adjust
If your kids have negative feelings about moving, don’t despair. Many psychologists say children take at least six months to adjust to a new setting, so rest assured they won’t be slamming doors forever. Luckily, you’re moving with kids in the digital age, so it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with old friends through Skype, texting, online games, and more. Be sure, however, that they are engaging with their new life, as well. Keep an eye out for bad behavior in school, and check in regularly to see if they are making new friends.
Millions of families move every year, for all kinds of reasons, so relocating has become a common rite of passage for children. Validate their feelings, be honest, and your kids will thrive in their new home.
Author Bio: Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When not writing, she enjoys reading, baking, and indoor rock climbing. Informational Credit for this article to Moving of America.