Moving? Avoid the Stress with your Children

Moving is one of the most stressful experiences for an adult.  Can you imagine what it must feel like for a child?  It must be traumatic.  One minute your child’s toys are strewn all over the living room and everything looks comfortable.  And the next it is replaced with boxes everywhere!   All parents would consider the effects on their child when they move, such as the end of the school year, but sometimes emergent circumstances do not allow for much planning.   Here are some tips that may help if you are moving:

Talk to your kids about it. 

Most adults do not like surprised, especially if the surprise is disruptive  Inform your children that you may be moving.  The more information you can tell them upfront, the better prepared they can be.  Take a picture of home prior to moving.  This way the child will be able to remember their old home.

Look through magazines for sample pictures  & start planning

Ask them how they would want to decorate their new rooms.  Encourage them to take part in the plans.  This way it is more of a project they have involved with from the beginning.

If possible, time and (do) it right!

Attempt to move during the summer.  This is perfect as it does not disrupt their school.   If a summer move works out, the child will at least, have time to get settled.  Organize their stuff for the move.  This is a time to de-clutter, if it is needed.  Just make sure that you don’t misplace or accidentally throw away their favorite blanket or stuffed toy behind.  Otherwise, it may be disastrous.

The move…

Allow the child to walk through the home before you leave.  This will allow your child to remember their home as it was.  If it is not too difficult and you have an opportunity to do so,  have their new rooms ready and completed.  Imagine the smiles that you will get when they walk in to their new rooms and it is ready and decorated.  This will probably help with the transition. Just like adults, children will need to process all the changes.  Give them time.  It will be chaotic for a while.  It will take you a while to get comfortable and your child will go through the same thing.  Remember that children are adaptive and resilient.