Moving can be a scary time for a child – especially if they have lived in the same home for their entire life. There are steps that you can take to help your child handle a move with the least amount of stress as possible.
The first thing you want to do, is sit your child down and explain that you are planning on moving the family. Whether it is long distance or short distance, let your child know why you are planning on making the move (i.e. job transfer, need bigger home, etc.) and where you are planning to move.
If you haven’t picked out a new home yet, bring your child along while you are looking – if you are able to. Your child will feel apart of the process and like they are helping to make a decision on the home everyone will live in and will feel more connected to the new home. Take their input seriously, but ultimately you will be making the final decision.
If you are moving to the next town over, a new neighborhood or a different state – help educate your child on the new area. Show them online pictures; explain different activities and things that are available in the town. If you are able to, drive over to the area and take a couple of hours exploring. If they see that there are similar things that they like in the new area, it will help set their mind at ease.
Get your child involved in the packing process. If age appropriate, have them pack up their own room. If they are a little young to do that on their own, have them help you pack up their room and set aside a box of things they want with them immediately – whether it be a favorite toy, nightlight or whatever it may be that will help them feel comfortable.
Help them say goodbye to their current home and town. Go to their favorite park, walk through your home and be sure to take pictures. Taking the time to see everything they want to before leaving is important to help your child get closure.
Moving can be a difficult process and transition for both children and adults. Be positive throughout the process and show excitement. If you show excitement and positivity toward moving to a new place, it will help your child see it might not be such a bad thing. Oftentimes, the moods and behaviors of parents are mimicked in their children – so be aware that what you do will reflect in your children.
If you take and utilize these tips, you will have a happier and smoother moving process with your child.