Moving with children can be a stressful and traumatic experience, especially for small children. However, it doesn’t have to be. Read through these easy tips on making relocating with children easy and exciting for them, and less stressful for you!
- Be Positive! It is not uncommon for kids to echo their parent’s emotions. It is important to be upbeat and encouraging toward your children about the move. Even if you are stressed to your wits end. Trust me, if you relieve the stress on your children, you’ll relieve some of your own stress. Be sure to keep your family’s schedule on track, so the kids don’t feel overlooked.
- Communication goes a long way. Be sure to involve your children with the plans. Explaining the move game plan with your kids will not only make them feel better about the situation, but also make them feel involved with the process. You will also want to make sure they understand why. Sometimes kids don’t understand the reasons for the move. All they see is the friends and school they are leaving, their home and neighborhood. Explaining the why is not going to make this better for them, but it may make it easier.
- Involvement. If your children are old enough to truly understand what is going on, you should get them involved in the moving process. As I mentioned above, they are leaving their friends, neighborhood, and school. Getting them involved in the move will make it a more constructive experience for them rather than a negative one. If you know specificinformation about things such as possible schools, recreational areas, clubs, etc, share it with them. Involve them with choosing your future home, and if possible take them on the house hunt. Ultimately, involving your children in any way will give them a sense of control in a situation where they may otherwise feel helpless.
- Packing. Even you having a moving company coming to pack your things, it is a good idea to let your children pack up a few things of their own. Maybe help them to choose items that are important to them or have some sort of sentimental value. Pack them up in a box and put their name on it (i.e. “Molly’s Stuff). Then take this box with you instead of the moving company. That way things that mean a lot to your child will be right there with them.
- Say Goodbye. Sounds simple, but for your children this may be the most traumatic part of their experience. People grieve over people they leave behind, even if a death is not involved. If you are moving across the country and your child is leaving behind a very good friend. Let them say goodbye. Perhaps throw a going away party for your child and let them invite those who mean a lot to. It may be a good idea to make some sort of scrapbook about the things your child is going to miss. This way they can look back and experience these things even after they move. You could get them an autograph book to have their friends and teachers sign. All these ideas will help your child with the moving process and possibly the grieving process that may follow.
- Kids first. Once you make the move be sure to meet your kids’ needs first, if possible. Set up their rooms first; this will help them to feel secure and at home with their new surroundings. Get them on their schedule as soon as possible and stick with it. If there are community events or recreational programs that interest your children, get them involved! This would be a great way for them to not only move on with their new life, but maybe even find new friends!
All in all, relocating is not a fun experience for anyone. You will be surprised how these few tips will relieve the pressures on your own life as well as your children’s. Be sure to take care of yourself and your spouse in the process this process. Remember no one is doing this alone and you all are in it together.