Moving With Kids

How to make the move easier on your kids

With all the hustle and bustle involved with moving, sometimes the feelings of children get overlooked. For a lot of kids and teenagers, moving means leaving everything that is important: their home, their school, their teams and clubs, and their friends. They are not normally involved in the decision to move, and oftentimes do not understand the necessity to move. It's a frightening prospect.

Important things to keep in mind:

It is not unusual for children to show signs of stress, such as problems sleeping, anxiety, and lack of appetite. To make the process easier for your children and mitigate the impact of the move on them, consider the following tips:

  • Tell your children as soon as you can. Children need time to deal with feelings of loss or separation, and the more time advance notice they have, the better.
  • Explain in simple terms why the move is necessary. Make it short and positive, without overselling - children often know when a parent is masking negative feelings.
  • As the children become used to the idea of moving, tell them about their new house and what they might expect to find there.
  • Encourage open communication. Let children talk about their feelings. Reassure them by letting them know their feelings are normal.
  • Attachments are strong, even at a young age. It may take some time for children to let go of their old house and old life.
  • Involve your children in the move. Ask for their opinions and suggestions. Their point of view may provide insight into their true feelings.
  • Involve them in the process. You may give them their own to-do list so they feel they are part of the process and contributing to it.
  • Throw your children a going-away party. It's a great way to gather their friends and create positive memories of your old home.

Most people plan their move to coincide with the end of the school year. Child psychologists, however, suggest moving at least a month before the end of the school year, so that they can make new friends before the long summer break. Children adapt much better when they have a circle of friends and some routine.

Make sure to give extra support to your children through the first weeks and months in your new home. Keep the same customs or rituals going, such as movie night or taco Tuesdays, to help make your kids feel at home in the new place.

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