The idea of moving can be a touchy subject for children. The level of change associated with a move can seem overwhelming for kids as well as downright sad.
They may find it difficult to leave friends they enjoy and the neighborhood and school they are used to. Like any life-changing event, it’s important to set aside time to help children cope with this big change and to help them look forward to a new adventure, a new stage in their life instead of dwelling on the negatives. Below are a few ways to help your kids cope with a move.
Communicate with Your Kids
Many families begin talking to their kids about moving long before they settle on a new home. This helps prepare kids emotionally for what’s coming, but it’s also a chance to involve them in the process of looking for a home. Some day kids will have to look for a house of their own so involving them, particularly older children, can be a great learning experience. In any case, answer every question your child has with as many details as you can provide. Being honest and open will help your child feel confident in this decision to move. This will also allow you to understand what your child will need (whether emotional or physical support) during the moving process.
Give Them Some Ownership
During the moving process, recognize that your kids may feel that they are losing their niche along with friendships and all the other familiarities associated with home. By allowing them to design their own room, for example, or to carve out a game room in the basement can give them a fun project to focus on, which ultimately helps them to emotionally invest in their new home right from the get go. Also, it will empower your kids knowing that they can have a say in their new home.
Assign Them Tasks
Assigning kids tasks on moving day may make them feel important and less preoccupied with leaving their old home. One child might be in charge of the tape while another one handles the checklist. Even though you will naturally be busy with the movers and seeing to last-minute items, be sure to involve your kids and let them know you care about their feelings but still need their help for a successful move. Just be careful with how much task you assign your children. Remember that moving to a new home can be a very difficult situation for a child so be aware that they might need space.
Keep these tips in mind so you can sensitively prepare your children for a move. Many families move at some point when their kids are young and life turns out just fine–even wonderful! Be sure to remind your kids about that. If you notice that your child is struggling with the move, it might be best to consult with a therapist to help them cope with the move.
Author Bio: Mark Polado is the author of this article on helping kids cope with a move. When he’s not writing, he spends his time helping people around the world move with TruckPlease.