Moving from one home to another can be a big, scary challenge for a child. Whether you are moving across the same town that they’ve always lived in or taking them across the country, there will be a lot of changes that your little ones have to prepare for. Here are a few things you can do before, during and after your move to help them ease into it.
Inform them early on of what’s happening. Tell them as early as possible that they’re leaving their home for a brand new one. Don’t hold back any details about where you’re going. Explain to them why you’re moving, and make sure they know how excited you are for this big change. Is it a new town far away that you’re traveling to? Pull up as many pictures and videos of where they’ll be living. You can look at them on a phone, computer or tablet, or you can even make a little book for them to flip through and see their new hometown. If the house isn’t too far, take them to see it before you move into it, so they’re familiar with their surroundings. The more preparation you can do before the big day, the better.
Involve your kids in the move. You want them to feel like they are helping and part of the decision making process. Show them pictures of potential houses and ask for their opinions, and write their opinions down so they know you’re taking them seriously. When it comes to the actual move, ask them how they’d like their stuff to be packed, and discuss with them how they want their new room to look. The more say they have in the matter, the easier the transition will be for them.
Make moving day a party! If you’re moving somewhere close, ask friends and family to help. That way they’re surrounded by people they’re familiar with, and people who care about them. At the end of the day when all the hard work is done, order pizzas for everyone - there’s not a kid out there who doesn’t love a good pizza party!
Once you’ve gotten into your new home, it’s a good idea to involve your kids in the decorating of their room as much as you feel comfortable. From deciding where they want their night stand to picking out the paint colors - give them ownership of their new space so that they can make it theirs. Once they’re settled, establish a routine. Breakfast before school, reading time as soon as they get home, playtime in the backyard, etc - a routine helps a child feel at home and gives them the structure that they need to adjust to this new environment.
Every child is different, and so is every move! As the parent, you know how much help your young ones are going to need during this big transition. The most important thing is to listen to them and make sure they know that you love them and care how they feel. Your move is going to be great!