It is an exciting time when you finally decide to move to a new home.
From purchasing to packing up to settling in the new place, there are so many details competing for your attention. It’s no surprise that you have occasional moments of feeling overwhelmed. If this is happening to adults, we can anticipate that children also experience various challenges when faced with moving to a new home. Parents can help their children navigate this time of transition by identifying ways for them to participate in planning and moving.
Some of the anxieties associated with moving can be reduced by encouraging children to be part of the whole moving process. Who knows, you may even find moving fun.
Tell your child about the move. Identify ways that make sense to your child that explain the reasons for moving. Encourage ongoing discussion and welcome questions. Be prepared to highlight some of the benefits of the new home and area.
When possible, reassure your child that sports and special interests will be maintained. When it comes to packing with younger children, designate or create a container for “must have” items that will travel with the child — it can be comforting to have a few special things close at hand come moving day. This also limits desperate searches for a favoured plush toy or blanket mislaid in some box.
Especially with older children and teens, it will be important to make them feel respected by including them in discussions about planning and moving. When possible, allow them to identify what they hope to have in a new home or area. They may be willing help by doing some web-based investigations on prospective homes and areas. When a home is finally chosen, try to offer some latitude in decorating their space. This can help create a sense of ownership and belonging.
Moving is a big step for everyone, so find things to celebrate about your former home and your new home. Throw a going-away party with some friends or neighbours as a great way of remembering fun stories and memories.
Try ending the big moving day by clearing a space in the mess for pizza and a board game or movie. Create positive experiences for your kids that help set a tone for this exciting time of change.
Remember, kids are great at reading a parent’s mood. Be aware of your disposition because the kids might absorb this. When things are stressful, try to encourage everyone to take a break or get something to eat. It may not always be possible to make moving fun, but it is possible to make parts of it enjoyable and easier on everyone.
tips for moving with children