Moving is a big step when you have a family, even if the move is just to the other side of town. Kids thrive on routine and familiarity so even just a small move can seem traumatic. Some children may have trouble understanding why they have to move, especially if they weren’t involved in the decision-making process in any way.
No matter how old your child is, moving can be hard on them. They can feel as though they are losing friends and this may make them feel sad and angry.
HELPING KIDS COPE WITH MOVING
When it comes time to announce the move, make sure you are prepared for any reaction you may get from your child. Listen calmly to their worries and feelings and instead of trying to talk them out of worrying or feeling a certain way, acknowledge their feelings and validate them.
If you can visit the new place prior to moving, do it. Show your children the park, the local library and even take them to their new school. Find an ice cream shop you and your family can go to, and get a sweet treat. Visiting can help you prepare your child for this new adventure.
STICK TO ROUTINES
Try to keep routines as close to the same as possible. In the midst of change, many children will need to rely on things that will remain the same. Keep bedtime routines the same, read stories they and make time for family meals.
KEEP THEM INVOLVED
Have your children help you make the new house a home by allowing them to unpack, choose paint colors or give their input on furniture placement. Your kids can feel a sense of accomplishment for contributing to their new home and in turn a deeper connection with their new environment.
GIVE YOUR KIDS TIME
Don’t expect your children to adjust to the idea of moving right away. It is a process and is not going to happen overnight. A lot of things change when you move — new smells, new house, new sounds, and that’s just in the home. There is a lot of new things for your children to deal with and they will need the time to take it all in.
Moving can be a big step for parents and children alike. Be prepared, stick to routines and keep them involved to make the transition to their new environment easier.
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