|How to Reduce Stress When Moving with Children
Moving is stressful for adults. For kids, it can be scary. From your child’s perspective you are asking them to leave their home, school, and friends. To help create an easier transition, follow these four tips:
1: Be Upfront With Your Children
Let your children know where the family will be moving and when the move will take place. It helps to keep their lives as predictable as possible and their regular routines and schedules will provide comfort. Also, involving children in the process can help them feel that they have some control over their situation. Ask them lots of questions about their feelings and opinions. Some children may even like to read books about moving. I recommend the following books:
2: Confidence, Not Fear
- Moving House by Anne Civardi (Preschool)
- Alexander, Who’s Not Going to Move by Judith Viorst (K-3rd grade)
Many children fear that their belongings will be lost or thrown away when moving. While packing is a good time to get rid of unnecessary things, it is not a good time to do so with your children's things. Reassure them and let them help with the packing. Let smaller children color on their own boxes so they can identify them easily. Keep important things like favorite blankets, toys, and books unpacked. Make sure they know that their new bedrooms will have the same furniture and familiar items as their old bedrooms. A really great tip is to have the moving company load the children's boxes last so they'll be the first off the truck.
3: Get Some Closure
Children often worry about keeping in touch with friends or loved ones they leave behind. Discuss ways they can keep in touch with their old friends. Give them plenty of time to hang out with important people they will miss or see less as a result of the move. A farewell party can be a great way to help kids say hard goodbyes to those people.
4: Go Exploring Your New Neighborhood
Another way to alleviate anxiety is to help children get to know their new home. If possible, visit your new neighborhood and find parks, playgrounds, or other features that might be fun. Show them the new house and the school they will attend. Some schools will offer the opportunity to meet the teacher or principal in advance. If you can't schedule a visit before moving, the internet is a great tool. Find pictures and area maps online. You can also take virtual tours of your new home. Show them their room and help them plan how they will decorate when the move into the new home.