Moving With Children: Helping Kids Adjust to a New Home
Moving disrupts every part of life — and it can feel especially tough on kids.
For parents, the reasons behind the move are usually relatively straightforward. But the “why” behind a relocation may not make quite as much sense to children, leaving them feeling uncertain and uneasy.
During the transition of a move, kids need some special attention. These tips can ease the disruption and help children adjust to moving.
Talking to Kids About a Move
When you’re planning a move, proper preparation goes a long way toward alleviating move-related stress. That means talking about the move with kids early in the moving process.
For little ones — such as toddlers up to pre-school age — about a month’s notice is enough. They’ll have time to accept the news, but not to worry about it for too long.
Older kids need more time to process. It’s easier to deal with stressful situations when there’s plenty of time to prepare, rather than receiving a sudden shock.
For all ages, clear communication is critical. Remember: Much anxiety and uncertainty stems from the unknown, and your kids will have many questions about the move. Try your best to give honest answers that provide the information they need to feel secure.
Sometimes, simply asking your child how you can help them is the best thing you can do.
Focus on the Positive
Even if a move will benefit your family and result in a better life, kids may have difficulty understanding that moving is necessary. Pointing out all the benefits of a move can help; just expect that you may have to repeat yourself multiple times.
Children pick up emotional cues from you. Even if you’re feeling sad about the move yourself, stay calm. Focusing on the positive aspects of the relocation can help redirect negative thinking.
If you can, visit your new home ahead of time and point out its wonderful features. For instance, maybe there’s a park with a nice playground just around the block. For older kids, maybe there’s a great sports program at their new school or easy access to outdoor activities.
Exploring the positive aspects of the new neighborhood will go a long way toward eliminating uncertainty and fear.
Involve Kids in the Move
Of course, this may be easier said than done when you have small children, but even little ones can help pack. Consider using colorful boxes for kids’ stuff to make packing more fun or making up silly stories as you place toys in the boxes.
For older kids, having some sense of control over the moving process can help. Letting them help chose where items will go in the new house or allowing them to select the paint color for their new room lets them feel invested in the process.
School-age children can help with the packing and moving process, too. Consider creating to-do lists that will both help them stay organized and gain a sense of accomplishment.
Moving isn’t easy for anyone, and it can be especially tough on kids. Staying calm, focusing on the positive, and keeping the lines of communication open can go a long way toward easing the disruption of a move.
Make Moving Easier
Let us help make your move easier. We can help with your packing, loading, unloading, and storage needs. Contact us for an estimate. Make your family time a priority during your home transition.