Moving to a new home in a new area can be hard on a kid. While it can be difficult for anyone to say goodbye to their old house, it can be particularly tough for young children who don’t have control over the situation.
Children who are generally all cool and chill may take it pretty well. However, if your kids are more sensitive, you must be aware of potential challenges to help them cope with such a significant change.
This way, you’ll also be modeling lessons in adjusting to change, which can help them in the long run since life is full of significant transitions. Moving can also be a good opportunity for children to practice resilience.
However, as resilient as they can be, parents should do something to ease the transition. Here are several tips to get your kids ready for the move.
Let your kids know as soon as you’re thinking about moving because sharing the reasons and process for the decision can build children’s ability to make difficult decisions.
Once you decide, prepare them for moving with a timeline of when you will visit the new home, when you pack, when they start new schools and any other information you can add without overwhelming them. Also, assure them their favorite toys and other things will safely get to your new home. For this to happen, however, you need to pick a great moving company, such as LA Moving Star.
Children handle honesty better than deception, so let them know everything unless you have a compelling reason not to.
Leaving the house, friends, school, and even familiar parks and stores is a loss; kids feel it as much as adults do, if not more. Allow them space for grieving and let them process their emotions regarding the move without trying to force them to stay cheerful all the time.
Below are the different stages of grief you need to be aware of and can share with your child if you think they can understand it, but if not, be there for them and allow them to feel.
- Denial is the first stage of grief, so your child may act as if the move isn’t happening at all. This is how the mind protects itself, but it won’t last long. Soon, they’ll move into the next stage, so try not to rush this one.
- Anger: The next stage is anger, which may seem misplaced. They may become mad at you but try not to take it personally, as we find strength in anger. Please don’t allow them to express their anger in inappropriate ways for sadness.
- Bargaining: Older children may ask you if they can stay with someone in your former location, which may work unless they are too young. While it may be tempting to give a firm answer that you’re all going, it may cultivate feelings of resentment. However, remembering that bargaining is a grief stage can help you show your kid understanding, making them feel appreciated and important even if their idea won’t be realized.
- Depression: In this stage, the kid is full of energetic anger and bargaining discussions, becomes lethargic, apathetic, and may cry a lot. Here, it’s important to remember that depression is typically the bridge to acceptance.
- Acceptance: Acceptance doesn’t mean your kid will suddenly become happy with your decision to move. But it does mean a slow transition from grief to less grief to some good days to more good days. It’s about recognizing that they have a new life now.
Help Them Visualize Their New Life
Helping your kids visualize their new lifestyle will help prepare them for it. For example, you can show them photos of their new home, city, and school. Or, find places they’d like to visit, such as a fun playground or an ice cream shop, and talk about how fun it will be.
Also, be prepared to answer their questions. That’s especially true about their new school. And visiting the city, school, or your new house beforehand can make the day of the move feel less frightening.
Giving your kids decision-making power will help them feel more in control of a situation where they don’t have a say. And one of the best ways to do that is to let them plan their new room.
Allowing them to choose their new paint color for the walls, a new rug, or new bedding will excite them about their new home. If you have older children, you may even want to allow them to choose some other home decor too, or even check homes with your realtor.
It’s a good idea to make connections before moving. While you may not know the school yet, you can tap into other things similar to your current location, such as music lessons, martial arts, museums, and dance classes, to name a few.
You can find other like-minded parents on social media, share that you’re moving to a place, and ask if anyone knows someone there. Also, you can search on the internet for exciting things to do for families in the area and allow your kids to choose which they want to do or visit.
Drawing children to a new place with cheerful anticipation is an excellent way to create genuine excitement.
Pack While They Are Asleep
Children tend to want something once they believe it’s out of reach. If you’re packing in front of them, they may start unpacking everything behind you. That’s why it may be a good idea to fill it at night while sleeping or when they’re out in kindergarten or school.
Create a simple plan for a moving day, so your kids know what’s coming and what to expect. You can also pack a moving day kit with their favorite toys, a tablet loaded with movies they love or even a coloring book. Explaining what’s happening can help calm them down and prepare them for a significant change.
One of the most significant benefits of today’s digital age is that technology can help us stay in touch with faraway friends and family. Skype, Facebook, phone calls, and text messaging are all mediums through which you can maintain friendships across large distances. And setting these meetings ahead of time can help your children feel more in control and less worried.
Make Moving Fun
While moving to a new place and home can be frightening to kids, especially if they have lots of friends in your current area, there are things you can do to ease the transition. All children react differently to moving, and if yours is chill about it, you won’t have to put much effort into helping them adjust. Still, it’s a good idea to check on them to see how they genuinely feel.
However, if your kid has a hard time with your decision to move, you need to do what you can to help him get through it and realize there’s a whole new, fun world out there. That’s especially true if they are young. Showing them all the exciting things they can do in their new area and house can make all the difference, so why not try it?