Moving to a new home can be a very stressful time for any adult. But moving can be even more stressful on children. A new home could mean new friends, leaving old ones behind, new scenery, and so much more. As parents, it’s your responsibility to know how to make moving easier for your children. If not, children could add to the stress of moving that you’re already experiencing. A move represents a bigger life change like a new job or financial success.
Help translate the importance of a move for your children by knowing just how to make moving easier for them and for you.
Involve Your Children
It may sound ridiculous to have children help make you a decision on what home you should move into or where. However, asking their opinion is a great way to make the move easier for everyone. Surely you don’t need to listen to all of their input but maybe keep some of their wants in mind when shopping for a new home. Sit down as a family before heading out to look at homes and ask what they would like in a home. To make the situation a learning experience, ask them to explain why they want what they want.
Not all children are old enough to go with you from home to home. If your child is of a comfortable age, bring them with you house shopping. Keeping them involved will help them feel like the decision is also theirs. Even if ultimately the decision is yours. The goal is to involve them so that they feel comfortable with the move.
If you’re moving far away and want to know how to make moving easier, your child may need to say goodbye to their friends. These relationships are important and should be treated with respect. Allow your children to invite friends over for a farewell party. The party doesn’t need to be big, it could be nothing more than just a dinner or movie night with friends. The goal is to allow them to get closure on a relationship. If your children are old enough, they could always stay in contact via the phone, social media, or the old-fashioned way, letters.
Pack It Up
Another form of getting involved is packing. Let your children pack-up their room with a little supervision. Pick one box, and let them put their most prized possessions in that box. If you’d like, make it a “treasure box” and let them decorate the box as they want.
Grand Finale Trip
Depending on the age of your children, they may have a few favorite spots around and near your soon-to-be-old home. Leading up to the move, spend time at those old places and allow them to say goodbye. Maybe they’ve made friends with the cashier at the grocery store or had a favorite swing set at the park. Take them to that grocery store or park and let them say their goodbyes. Things may get a little emotional but that’s okay.
One of the most difficult aspects of moving for children is becoming comfortable in their new room. That comfort level could translate into sleepless nights, both for them and for you. Let them map out their room and unpack their treasure box. Supervise so things to get crazy, but also try to give them as much freedom here as possible. You can make suggestions and be part of the process but let them make a few decisions on their own. This process will help make them feel more comfortable in their new room.