30 Mar Moving With Children? 10 Ways to Help Young Children Cope With The Change
Moving is an emotional process for adults, but moving with children can bring its own unique stressors to the table as well. You’re both leaving the home where you’ve created countless memories over the years and looking ahead with some complicated mix of excitement, apprehension, relief, stress, sadness and more. As an adult, you fully understand what a move means and entails, but you little ones many not always fully grasp what is happening.
For your little ones, a range of emotions is still there, but they might not totally comprehend the situation or know how to express their feelings. Cue the tantrums, behavioral regression and fitful sleep. But it doesn’t have to be so bad! Fortunately, there are several ways you can help your kids cope with moving before and after the moving truck is unloaded.
Give them time to adjust to the idea. For children who are toddlers or preschool age, it’s good to give them about a month’s notice. This way you have time to frequently talk about the move with them and for them to get used to the idea, but not too much time to dwell on it. When you break the news to them, it’s important that you assure them that the house will be different but all of their things will go with it. Stress all the things that will stay the same as well as the good things about the move. You can help young children understand the moving concept through books as well.
Help them learn that moving away isn’t goodbye. You know how easy it is to stay in touch with anyone anywhere in the world. Share this sentiment with your kids! Stress that, even though their best friends might not be right down the street anymore, it will be easy to keep in touch and that they can visit. Plus, they’ll make new awesome friends.
Stay positive. Kids are perceptive and your attitudes and actions rub off on them. You may not be thrilled with the idea of your move, but if they see that you are unhappy about it, they’ll worry that they should be too. Instead, share all of the good and exciting things about the move. However, be sure to ask how they feel and let them know that it’s OK to be sad but that you will be with them. Do your best to respond to and ease their concerns.
Take them to see your new home and neighborhood. The new house will be less of a shock to your children if they’re able to visit it before the move. If a visit is possible, show them where their room will be and other key areas of the house. Walk around the neighborhood and visit areas that will be important to them like a park, playground, library or school.
Let them visit their new school or daycare. If your children are able to visit their new school or daycare and meet their teachers before they switch, it can help them feel more comfortable when the change becomes official. They will feel better knowing familiar faces and worry less if they know what their new school is like.
Give them their own moving box. It could be fun for your children to be able to take ownership of some of moving process. Give them the opportunity to pack their favorite things in a box that they can keep track of and that can be the first thing they open in the new home.
Give them some control. For most little kids, not much is in their control and certainly not the move. They will feel more excited about the move if they get to be involved instead of just dragged along. Consider letting them make or “approve” of decisions involving the new house. For example, maybe they can choose the color scheme of their new room or how their bedroom furniture is arranged.
Stick with routine. With so many changes happening in your kids’ lives, it’s important that you focus on maintaining as much of their daily routine as possible. For example, stick with the bedtimes and dinner routines that you’ve always had. Especially if you’re going through a divorce or moving because of a job, it may be difficult to maintain old routines, but try to keep as much as possible the same as it was where your kids are concerned.
Surround them with the familiar. In addition to keeping routines that they know, keep the things your kids know. It may be tempting to get rid of that icky old teddy bear or pack away the baby blanket, but when you’re moving with children, it’s important to be aware that those things may comfort your children when they need it most. It may be best to save the new comforter and toy purging for when the new home has become old hat to your kids.
Encourage them to make new friends. Sign your kids up for classes that they loved in your old neighborhood or new things they want to try. Especially if you move over the summer, this can be a great way for your little ones to get acclimated to the new area and make new friends. Bonus that you can make some new parent friends!
If you’re moving with children, contact Binefit Storage and Moving at 313-312-9815 to learn how we can ease the process for you so that you can focus more on them.