Moving is a monumental decision for a family, regardless of whether you’re moving across town or cross country. Between switching schools, finding new friends, and settling into your home, transitioning into your new life can be chaotic—especially with little ones in tow.
For parents, moving house can be a fresh start, filled with excitement and joy as you transition to a bigger space and new environment. However, even though relocating is exciting for you, it can be a source of stress and sadness for young children. Little ones will likely express discomfort at the thought of losing friends and switching classrooms, which means it’s your job to mitigate fears and help them get excited about their new life. If you’re struggling with distraught children in disarray, take a look at these helpful strategies sure to ease their worries.
Keep moving stress to a minimum
While moving is unavoidably chaotic at times, keeping disorganization and disorder to a minimum can help ease your child’s fears. Engage in careful planning, keep kids in the know, and start packing early to avoid unwanted challenges. If you’re planning a cross-country trip, consider researching car transportation services far before the big day to dodge last-minute scrambling. Remember, any anxiety you exude will rub off on your little ones, so keep as calm as possible through the process.
Give them an early notice
To avoid blindsiding your little ones, talk to your children as soon as possible to keep them up to date on changes. Though younger children may not fully comprehend the ins-and-outs of the moving process, planting the seed in their minds will help them cope when the day finally comes. Talking with your children early on also allows you to gauge their reaction to see how much resistance they’ll give you along the way.
Try explaining the process
It’s likely younger will have difficulty processing what moving entails. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid the conversation. Although talking with your little ones may prove challenging, you can cover any concerns and help ease their confusion by explaining—in simple terms—what’s happening. Let them know their toys and belongings will be safe, and they’ll be able to make friends in the new area.
Engage them in the moving process
Allowing your children to help with simple moving processes can get them exciting for their new life. Take them on a tour of your new home, make a game out of packing, and pack plenty of distracting entertainment for when you need a child-free zone.
Minimize changes in their rooms
To minimize the shock of a brand new home, set up furniture and decor in a similar fashion to their old room. By creating a familiar scene, your children will adapt quickly and feel more at home. By keeping the same bedding, toys, and color schemes, you can create a comfortable haven for your overwhelmed little one.
Practice similar routines
Although your daily routine is sure to shift as you juggle moving, new employment, and stressed-out children, you can reduce anxieties by keeping day-to-day activities and habits in place. Too many adjustments can be overstimulating for little ones. Instead of introducing new routines right off the bat, allow your children ample time to adjust. Keep lunchtime the same, take them on daily walks, and emphasize consistency to reduce chaos where possible.
The bottom line
Although moving stress is generally unavoidable, you can alleviate tensions and anxieties by easing your little ones into their new environment. Keep them in the loop, allow them to participate in moving-day activities, and keep daily routines consistent to avoid stress-induced meltdowns.
Kim Carberry says
Great advice. When we moved a couple of years ago we told the girls early and kept them involved the whole way thorough.
I found that giving them the promise of a newly decorated bedroom really excited my two.