To you, moving might be exciting. You might be looking forward to moving because of what it will mean for you financially or professionally. Or maybe you’re even upgrading your home and daydreaming about how much fun your little ones will have frolicking around in the backyard. But, moving kids isn’t as easy. Your children aren’t involved in the decision and they’re not able to envision the future in the same secure way that you are.
So, it’s important to be very intentional in helping your kids through transition of moving to a new home.
Involve the Kids
The hardest part of being a kid is not having control over anything. If you spring moving on your child without involving them, the move might cause a lot of stress and anxiety for your child. Instead of keeping them in the dark, include them in the whole process from the get-go. Take them house hunting. Ask their opinion. Give them jobs as you pack. For younger kids and toddlers, you can give them the very important task of decorating boxes with stickers and markers. My daughter loved doing that when we moved.
Pack Their Rooms Last, and Unpack Them First
Kids thrive in their routines. So, as you pack up your house, save the kids’ rooms for last. Make sure you leave special toys, blankies, and clothes out for your children to provide some security.
Once you arrive at your new home, get started making the kids’ rooms feel like home.
Avoid Any Other Changes
Moving is not the best time to wean or potty train or make any other drastic changes. It is wise to postpone any other changes until you are settled in your new home. A good friend of mine who is a professional counselor told me, “When I feel settled, my kids feel settled. So, every time we’ve moved, I’ve been lenient and flexible during the move. Then, once the house is put together and I feel settled, I get them back into their routines.”
Tips for Moving with Toddlers and Preschoolers
The younger your child is, the easier it is to move them, as young children can’t fully anticipate all the changes. But, your disposition can make or break the experience. If you make moving excited to your young children, they will be excited.
Here are some great tips from Kid’s Health:
“Keep explanations clear and simple.
Use a story to explain the move, or use toy trucks and furniture to act it out.
When you pack your toddler’s toys in boxes, make sure to explain that you aren’t throwing them away.
If your new home is nearby and vacant, go there to visit before the move and take a few toys over each time.
Hold off on getting rid of your child’s old bedroom furniture, which may provide a sense of comfort in the new house. It might even be a good idea to arrange furniture in a similar way in the new bedroom.
Avoid making other big changes during the move, like toilet training or advancing a toddler to a bed from a crib.
Arrange for your toddler or preschooler to stay with a babysitter on moving day.”
Moving is a huge change for a child, but it doesn’t have to be a negative one. Your kids will feed off of your emotion, so if you’re stressed, they’ll be stressed. If you’re excited, they’ll be exciting. Make moving a happy exciting time for your family by involving them and keeping a positive attitude about the whole ordeal yourself.