Moving can be difficult on children. Transitioning to a new environment at a young age is something that can cause a lot of stress. Here are a few pieces of advice that may help:
Tell your child about the move as soon as possible, a child should never overhear the news by accident. Talk to your children about the move, share the details, encouraging their questions and listening to their thoughts. Help your children talk about what is hard about the move, but also about what exciting things they might discover in their new neighborhood. Schedule regular family meeting times to discuss any questions or concerns, and look for frequent opportunities to talk with your kids about the move, even if they aren’t asking questions. For younger children, read children’s books about moving. Talk about the pictures in the books and how they think the people in the pictures might feel. Supply children with autograph books to use when saying goodbye. The book can be used for personal messages from friends and loved ones. Leave a small memento at your old home that will symbolize your child’s life there, plant a flower in the yard, hide a tiny toy in a secret place, or have your kids write a letter of welcome to the new children who might be moving in.
Involve Your Children In The Moving Process
Involve your children in your relocation. For example, bring older children on house-hunting trips or photograph the house you’ve selected as well as the neighborhood and the school. Let your children pack a few boxes of their own belongings, as well as a special backpack to carry with them on moving day with a few prized possessions. Have youngsters decide on items to be discarded or donated to a local charity. Help your children memorize their new address by having them address packing cartons with different colored markers.
Get Excited About The New Neighborhood
Once you arrive at your new home, don’t let unpacking, decorating and rearranging overwhelm you. Be sure to set aside blocks of time to explore your new neighborhood with your children, and plan enjoyable activities for the entire family. Introduce yourself to new neighbors prior to moving day (if possible) and invite the neighborhood children over to get acquainted once you’ve settled in. Provide your kids with a sense of continuity by enrolling them in familiar activities they enjoy, such as dance classes or little league. Contact teachers and principals at prospective schools to inquire about testing, attendance, special programs and extracurricular activities to ensure a smooth transition.
Stay In Touch
Encourage your children to exchange addresses and telephone numbers with old friends. Help your child write letters and call their old friends. Show them that whether your family is moving across town or across country, their connections with friends can still hold strong.
The Perfect Room
Include your child in decorating decisions for their new bedroom. The more comfortable they are in their new room, the more comfortable they will be with your new home. Don’t be afraid of color! A child’s room is the perfect place for bright, bold colors, and your child will love to help you paint the space. However, beware of paint that is too dark for a small space. You can never have enough lighting. Fun and imaginative light fixtures can complement the child’s room scheme, and multiple lighting sources are critical for any well-designed room.