Moving is a very exciting process, but for children it can be downright scary. Small children don’t necessarily understanding the concept of moving to a new house or new town, and they can have a lot of questions and anxiety about it, even if they don’t always express it. When you’re moving to a new home, it’s important to focus on your children as much as possible. It can be easy to get distracted with everything that goes into moving like packing, but making extra effort to help your kids cope with your move is essential. Here are some ways you can help them in the process.
Talk to Them
It might seem obvious and vague, but you need to talk to your children about moving. You should also talk to them about it often so there is an ongoing dialogue about the move. You want them to feel comfortable asking you questions and expressing their feelings. Try to explain the move as best as possible for their age level and keep them informed about what’s going on so they feel that they’re in-the-loop about everything.
Get a Handle on Your Emotions
Your children will pick up on your feelings and emotions, even if you think you’re trying to hide them. If you’re very stressed about the move, they’ll notice and become stressed, too. Do your best to control your emotions in the presence of your children, and try not to talk about your feelings of stress, frustration, or any negativity in front of them.
Show Them Their New Home
If possible, before you move take your kids to their new home and show it to them. Give them a tour of their new town, especially pointing out places of particular interest to them like the local playground, school, or ice cream parlor. If you can’t bring them to the home itself, show them pictures. This will help them feel more familiar with their new surroundings when they actually move to them.
Focus on What’s Familiar
Make sure to bring along your children’s favorite toys, blankets, or other items. They’ll look for comfort in the things that are familiar to them, so don’t surprise them with a new bed or anything all at once. Stick to their routine as much as possible so they don’t feel that things are changing so drastically. Be sure that their favorite toys are with them during the move rather than packed away in boxes where they could be difficult to find.
Help them get over the stress of moving by treating them to something special. It’s important for you to spend extra quality time with them, especially when you’re so busy with the details of moving. Treat them to a day at the zoo, for example, or have a family movie night on the first night in the new home. Giving them something special to enjoy or look forward to will help boost their spirits, especially if they’re very down or scared about moving.
Stacey Hunt is a stay at home mother to 3 boys who has a love for writing. She is an advocate for the use of grammar checkers and often uses them herself to ensure her writing is clear and free of any grammatical mistakes. She is currently attempting a difficult home improvement project with Houston natural stone.