While moving is usually a stressful process, moving with children comes along with unique challenges. Not only can children complicate the move itself, but they’re likely to have their own sets of concerns and worries about moving to a new home. Here are a few tips that can help make moving as gentle a transition for your children as possible.
Give Children Choices
If your new home has multiple rooms that would be appropriate for your children to turn into their bedrooms, it could be a good idea to allow your children to choose their own rooms. This will give them some control over their new home, which can replace some of the nervousness about moving with excitement about their new room.
Once your child has picked their room, you might also want to let them pick out a new decoration or two so that they can make it their own. You don’t need to let them hire their own interior decorator, but even a new poster or a lamp can add that personal touch that will make the room their own.
Explain What’s Happening
Children fret about a move in large part because they don’t understand what’s happening, what to expect at their new home, and all of the other unknowns they’ll face when they get there. One great way to ease these fears is to give your children as much information as possible about the move.
For younger kids, books on moving that speak to their age level can help a lot. One recommendation made at several websites is the classic “The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day.” For older children, you may want to talk to them about their new school, parks or other attractions in the area, and how they can continue taking part in the same activities or sports they participated in before the move.
When moving day comes, the role your children play may be highly dependant on their ages. Younger children might be more likely to get into the way and get upset during the move itself, so finding a babysitter or a relative for them to stay with until the move is over and the unpacking process has begun is a smart move.
On the other hand, older children may get more comfort from being involved in the moving process. If a child can help organize boxes before the move, and help unpack afterwards, it may make them feel like they’re taking a more active role in the process, rather than feeling as though it’s something that’s being done to them.
When you reach your new home, be sure to unpack at least some of your child’s belongings right away. If your child is stuck in a new home with nothing to do for too long, they’re likely to become bored, frustrated, and upset. A few toys or other special items can go a long way towards easing them into their new surroundings.