Moving is complicated for anyone, especially for kids who feel like they don’t have any control over the situation. Therefore, whether you are moving across town or to the other side of the world, you should understand that your children likely feel overwhelmed and stressed. Often, younger children may become clingy and/or have age-inappropriate emotional outbursts after the move. Additionally, both young children and adolescents who have moved are at an increased need of mental health treatment than those who have not.
That being said, there are some things you can do to help your child deal with the changes that are associated with the move. This article will explore some tips to help keep your child busy on the day of the move, help them feel included, and deal with their new surroundings.
Moving Day Tips
Here are a few tips to keep in mind on moving day to make things easier on your child and make sure your
Give them a Box to be Responsible
If your child is old enough, give them a box or two to be responsible for. Let them decorate the outside any way they want and allow them to pack their favorite things inside. By letting them decorate it, they stay busy while you are packing and making them responsible makes them feel like they are part of the process.
Create a “Movie Theater” out of a Moving Box
Take some time to download a few of your child’s favorite movies to a tablet/iPad. Then, take a large moving box and convert it into a theater. Simply cut one side off to make it three-sided. Pin a sheet to the open side to make a curtain. Add some pillows and blankets to create a little cubby that your child can climb into and be entertained while you or the movers are loading the truck.
Let your Child Meet the Movers
If you opted to hire professional movers, allow your children to meet them when they get there. Both the children and the movers will be more comfortable if they know each other’s names. You can help your children feel involved and keep them entertained by allowing them to take water bottles to the movers or hold the doors as people are going in and out.
Have a Surprise for them on Moving Day
Make the day easier for them by giving them a new book/toy to keep them entertained on moving day. This will brighten up their day and keep them busy while you’re doing the last-minute packing or loading.
Put Their Boxes on the Truck Last
When loading the truck, make sure that their boxes go on last. When you get to the new house, their stuff will come off first, so you can get their room set up quickly. This will give them a sense of comfort, knowing they still have all their toys and other stuff.
Hire a Babysitter
Finally, remember that moving day can be stressful. Therefore, you may want to hire a babysitter or see if your children can stay with loved ones- especially if you are moving far away. This will give them time to spend with someone they may not often see after the move.
Tips for Helping Kids Deal with Moving
Below, we’ll look over some general tips to help kids deal with moving.
Don’t forget to Communicate
It can be easy to get wrapped up in prep when you’re planning a move and forget about talking to your children about it. Make sure that you speak with your child daily to find out how they really feel. Letting them know that you empathize with how they think about it will significantly affect how they deal with the move.
Maintain the connection with friends/family
Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose connection with friends/family when you move away from them with the pace of life. However, if you have children, they must maintain that connection to deal with the move. Help them keep that connection by writing letters, calling, and even visiting. If it’s not possible to go back for any reason, try to have a friend or family member come to visit shortly after moving to assist with the transition.
Keep your routine
While it’s true that you’ll have to adapt to the new area, not everything has to change. Sticking to a family routine can make major changes, such as moving, easier on your child. For example, if you traditionally have pizza and movie night on Friday nights, keep doing that as much as possible.
Help them Make Friends
If your child has an active social life, it can help them settle. Be sure to sign them up for extracurricular activities at school or in the community. This will help them meet kids their age. Of course, you don’t want to force friendships- just encourage them. You will need to give your child time and space to create friendships. Be welcoming to your child’s new friends and allow them to invite their new friends over.
Let them Help with Decisions
Choices make a significant difference in how your child reacts, especially if your child is older and able to understand what they want from their living situation. When you are looking for a new home, take them with you and, if you can, visit the school or schools they may be attending and let them choose the one they like (if possible). Make sure that you keep your child involved in the process.
Take time to explore
Get your child excited about the new destination by letting them plan adventures and get them to be excited about the move. After all, it keeps them focused on the positive things about the new place and eases the pain of leaving behind the things that they know.
When you move, it’s important to note that children often need additional support. Take the time to listen to what they have to say and help them settle into the new house. It can make the transition easier. Whether you are moving across town or across the world, it can be tricky- but you can follow these tips to make things easier on them.
It’s important to keep in mind that the easier it is on your child, the better it will be for everyone. Once settled, you can enjoy your home as a family.