Moving is always stressful. But a family move, especially with young children, is on the next level.
Moving is necessary for a lot of reasons, but it can be very stressful on children. Sometimes, it even causes regression back to younger habits, like wetting the bed or temper tantrums.
Is there a way to make the family move easier? Yes!
Let Them Know At The Right Time
Letting your child know about the move too late will give them no time to prepare emotionally. But letting them know too early will give them too much time to worry about it.
The generally agreed upon rule is to let your child know about moving a month in advance.
This gives them enough time to get used to the idea without having it loom over their head for too long.
Of course, this will depend on a few things, like how old they are and if you have a for sale sign in your yard.
Get Them Involved!
Remember, your child doesn’t get a choice in whether or not they’re moving and where they’re moving to. This is incredibly stressful for them — imagine how you would feel!
To make the move easier for them, try to give them some choice in what they’ll be doing. Let them make the new house their own in some way.
Something as simple as letting them pick a paint color for their bedroom or some new furniture can help them feel a bit more in control of the move.
This can greatly lessen their anxiety and make the move easier on both them and you.
Give Them Closure
Even if you explain the move to them, if they are very young, it may still take them by surprise when you pack up and walk away one day.
Try to make that easier for them by planning a goodbye party. Make sure your child gets a chance to talk with everyone important to them.
Ask, “Are you going to miss so-and-so? Will you talk to them on the phone?”
This will help make the move seem less sudden when it actually happens. It will also help give them a chance to say goodbye to everyone around.
Don’t Break Routine
Routine is important for any child. But during something as changing as a move, it’s critical.
A routine gives your child a sense of security. And during a move, that’s very important.
Remember, everything has changed. And this is something your child may have never experienced before. That unknown factor makes the move very frightening.
If you still have dinner at the same time, or you continue rituals that you had at your old house, it will help make everything seem much less strange and frightening.
A routine should be kept the same as much as you possibly can in a new setting.
Don’t Take Your Stress Out On Them
We understand that moving is very stressful for you, just as much as it is for the kids. So when they start complaining or getting upset, the urge to snap at them is probably there.
But doing so doesn’t solve anything.
In fact, your kids will look to you to see how you are handling the situation. If you’re handling it well, they’ll take after your example.
It’s fine for you to be stressed, and natural. But do your best not to show it around them unless you’re doing it in a healthy way. It will do more harm than good.
Turn It Into A Game
Everything’s more fun when it’s in a game!
See who can pack (or unpack) the most boxes. Have a sorting game where your kids figure out what goes into which box.
These simple things will not only help them to feel less stressed about the move. It will also encourage them to take part in the moving process, making it easier on you, too!
This is a great way to get your child involved, which, like we said before, is an important part of making them feel like they have some choices and say in the move.
Keep In Touch With Old Friends …
When you move, neighbors that you once saw every day will be gone. Babysitters, relatives, and friends will all be much harder to reach.
This is going to be really stressful for both you and your child. There’s no way around that.
So after your family move, it’s important to try and stay in touch with the people who are important to your child.
Luckily, in today’s day and age, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with friends! Skype and Facetime mean that you don’t just get to hear their voice — you get to see them, too!
But Make New Ones, Too!
That said, you shouldn’t waste any time getting to know new people in the neighborhood, too.
If there are kids around your child’s age in the neighborhood, set up a play date as soon as you can. Introduce yourself to the neighbors and bring your kids around.
Making friends isn’t easy, but the sooner you try, the easier the move will be.
If your child had a bunch of friends before but is lonely at your new house, imagine what a struggle that will be for them. It will really make the family move difficult.
Try to avoid that by helping them make new friends.
Ready For A Family Move?
Now that you know how to handle it, you’re all ready for your family move.
But there are other things you need to handle if you’re getting ready to move. For example, you need to make sure that you’re hiring good moving services.
Luckily, we can help you there too.
Our moving services will help to make sure that there isn’t any added stress during this already stressful time.
A family move takes a lot of planning and preparation, but with our help, you can make sure that it goes smoothly and with little discomfort to your family.