According to numerous researches, moving is one of the most stressful situations a person may face. However, it’s unavoidable sometimes. If you’re a parent, one of your primary responsibilities is to prepare your kids for a big move, in addition to all of the challenges that come with relocating, such as packing, hiring a moving company, transferring items, staying healthy, and coordinating a myriad of other activities.
The fuss about preparing for a move, leaving a warm family nest, fear of the unknown, separation from other loved ones, disrupting routines and rituals – all this is very stressful for children. Fortunately, parents can find ways to move with their kids without setbacks and help their children adapt to the new environment.
Tips on how to prepare your kids for a big move
It is vital to prepare the children for the move before you begin packing. Explain why moving is necessary and what the process will entail. Engage children in planning as well, where possible. It could be a simple decision, such as which room will be theirs, or a more significant one, such as what school they will attend. It is best to give them space and a chance to have their say in any case. We have prepared top tips to assist you with this endeavor.
Talk to your kids about the big move
The first step is deciding when and how you will inform your kids about the move. Don’t procrastinate – tell them the news as soon as possible. Allow them enough time to comprehend the approaching transition and prepare for life in a completely new area. Children are clever and listen to adult conversations. Let them know before they hear it from someone else! Establish a safe environment, sit together as a family, and chat it out. You should expect a range of reactions from your kids, depending on their age and the scenario. All of this is a part of the process; try to remain as patient as possible. You are their guide through this journey.
Deal with the fear of the unknown
Every child will be saddened to leave behind friends and everything that is familiar and safe to them. In addition, kids will also be apprehensive in an unfamiliar setting. They can be concerned that they’ll be unable to form new friendships or that other children would mistreat them, which can significantly affect their self-esteem.
That’s where you come in. If you present the situation to the child down to the smallest detail, it will reduce the uncomfortable feeling related to the big move. Encourage your kids to think positively about their new home. Research in advance and explore all the places your child would like to visit in a new area or a new city. The internet allows you to involve them in the process and browse everything together.
From the very beginning, promote moving as a new adventure. This is an opportunity to meet new people, see different customs and habits, and face a different accent or even language (if you are moving abroad).
Encourage the kids to get involved with the move
Depending on how your children have grown up – how they experience adventure, exploration, and risk-taking – they will similarly face the stress of moving. Children who have never traveled or participated in adventures may feel a greater degree of anxiety.
Ask your child how he or she would like to say goodbye to the old home. Allow your kids to pack personal belongings and toys so they could feel part of the relocation process. You can also invite other children and your kids’ friends to come and help with packing. But be careful to have all the cleaning chemicals you use during this process stored away correctly to avoid children getting their hands on them.
When you move, it’s wise to talk to other parents in the neighborhood. Getting to know the neighborhood children is a great idea, but don’t push it. Try to be as subtle as possible so that kids can naturally get close.
It would be best if you tried to keep the same rules and family routine. Many things will change in a short period, and the last thing a child needs in such circumstances is for his parents to start introducing new rules. Therefore, keep all the structures and principles of your family rituals.
Another critical detail is that children often imitate their parents and share their emotions with them. So, if you feel calm and relaxed, the children will be more comfortable. Thus, don’t forget to take care of your mental health during relocation.
Make your new house feel like a home
After your big move into a new home, immediately place some familiar objects in similar places as in the old one. The ambiance from the former home (for example, displaying familiar items such as plush toys) can help the child feel happier and safer, and the new house will feel more like home. You should also make sure the new place is secure, child-proofed, and allergy-friendly.
Furthermore, you can tour the city and find some restaurants, playgrounds or ice-cream shops that will make your children feel less lost and alone. A housewarming party is also a great way to introduce yourself and your kids to this new life that you’re growing into.
Prepare your kids for a big move with patience, support, and understanding
Moving to a new house is a significant undertaking, and it will take a long time for everyone to adjust to their new surroundings. You must understand that and avoid rushing the youngsters into acclimating to a new room, school, neighborhood, and so on in a short time.
Be careful when you begin to prepare your kids for a big move – let time do its thing and allow the child to naturally get used to what awaits them. With patience, support, and a positive attitude around moving, your child will quickly get used to the new home and gladly accept any other change that follows!