Moving impacts everyone in the household, and it can be especially unsettling for kids. Kids tend to be comforted by consistency of surroundings, and moving eliminates much of that consistency. Here are some general tips on making the transition easier:
- Be sure to talk to your kids about moving, what the new place will be look, and what they should expect. Trying to keep it a secret is almost never a good idea.
- Be reassuring- kids will pick up quickly on the fact that everyone is feeling the stress of the upcoming move. Be honest in telling kids that things will be a bit stressful and "up in the air" for a short period of time, but that things will settle down and feel normal again after the move. Remind them of things that will not be changing, whether that involves possessions, daily activities, family members, etc.
- Let kids participate in age-appropriate activities prior to Moving Day, whether that's marking boxes, packing their toys or stuffed animals, organizing their belongings, etc.
- Get a children's book on moving for smaller kids. Consider "The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day."
- If appropriate, let children pick their room in the place.
- If possible, let kids pick a decoration (poster, light switch, name banner, etc.) for their new room. If that does not work, let them pick from two or three different paint colors that you pick out so that they "get a vote."
- Pack a kid's sized suitcase and let each child pick out a special toy to keep with them and a special outfit to wear on "new home day."
- If the child has a special dish or cup, include it in the kitchen "Open Me First" box so familiar items await them at their new place.
- Consider unpacking the kids' rooms first, or at least their "Open Me First" boxes to help them settle in.
While nothing can completely eliminate stress on your little ones, these easy steps should reduce it to an absolute minimum.