As a parent, moving can mean more space, a new start or a better community. But to a child, it can be difficult because they’re leaving comfortable surroundings. No matter if you’re making a move cross country or to the next town, you need to prep your child ahead of time. The following tips will help you with preparing your child for a move … embrace the adventure together!
Children are in tune with how a parent feels about a situation. Whether you’re trying to alleviate stress when traveling or you’re making life changing decisions such as a move, make it a positive experience. If you’re stressed or anxious, your children are going to pick up on your distress. Let them know that it’s o.k. to feel confused or scared, and you’re here to help them along the way. Point out positive features of the home and surrounding area.
Track the Time
If you’re selling your own home, you’ll probably have a lot to tackle before your move. Outsource repairs to an electrician or a plumber, so you’ll have more time to spend helping your children transition. As with other anticipated dates such as the holidays and birthdays, you can make this a fun adventure by tracking time on the calendar until your big move. This gives everyone ample time to prepare.
Explain as You Go
There’s a lot of preparation that needs to be done to get through a move smoothly. You can involve your child in the process by having them help pack boxes. Stickers or markers placed on the outside of each box shows what room in the home the contents are from. If you’re having a yard sale to get rid of items, ask your child to assist you. As moving day approaches, your child will find comfort if you talk about the various details of the move such as when the movers will arrive.
Visit Your New Place
If you’re moving locally, plan several visits to the new home with your child. If you can walk around your new digs, show them their new room. You can also include them in on the decorating and painting of their living space. Show them the yard and nearby points of interest to help them get a feel for the new neighborhood. If you’re moving far away, you can take a virtual tour of your new dwelling by way of computer.
Pack a Box of Essentials
A moving kit can help your child transition from the old home to the new. Included in the box could be a special stuffed animal, games and books. If you have an extensive commute, this box of goodies can provide comfort to them along the way. Photos of their friends can be a great way for your child to remember playmates from the previous neighborhood. Make sure the photo album is big enough to include the new friends that they’ll make once they move.
Plan a Fun Party
Saying goodbye can be hard even for small children. You can make the process fun by planning a “see you later” party. Although the miles will separate your child from their friends, the festivities will be a celebration until they see each other again someday. Include neighbors, school friends and children from their extracurricular activities in the celebration.
The prospect of moving to new surroundings may be exciting, but it can be hard for children to transition. The above tips will help include them in the process and give them a better understanding of what they can expect in the months leading up to the move.