By Ryan Howard, Smart Parent Advice
For all of the excitement that comes with moving, it can also create quite a bit of anxiety. Change can always be a little bit stressful. But, with a move, there can be all sorts of changes that take place all at once.
If you have kids, moving can be even more daunting, and not just for you. Moving can be quite challenging for kids in lots of different ways. Luckily, in this article, I’m providing some ideas on how to make moving easier on your kids.
One of the keys to helping your kids prepare for a move is to talk to them about it in advance. You don’t want to just spring it on them out of nowhere a couple of days before moving trucks arrive.
For younger kids, talking about it a month or so in advance should give them plenty of time to get used to the idea. Older kids might benefit from even a little more notice.
If you have a toddler or preschooler, the key to keeping the move from becoming overwhelming is to limit the overall amount of change going on in their life. If they are still in diapers, now is not the time to try to make the change to underwear.
Similarly, if they are sleeping in a crib, don’t force them to change to a toddler bed. It might seem like moving to a new home is the perfect time to transition to a bed. After all, why go through the trouble of moving and setting up a crib if you’re just going to take it down in a few months? The reality though is that your little one is going to be experiencing quite a bit of change. So, staying in the crib that they are used to is a great way to let them maintain a bit of continuity.
As your child gets into elementary school or grade school, they are likely to be much more able to understand and comprehend the concept of a move than younger kids are. That said, they may also realize some of the implications. Will you be moving far away to a new town? Will they be changing schools? Will they still get to see their friends?
If you aren’t moving far away, it can be a really good idea to schedule play dates so that they can keep in touch with their old friends. Even if the distance is great, you might be able to help them schedule an occasional video call so that they remain connected.
It can also be a really good idea to help them make new friends when they move. That might mean inviting some new neighbors with kids over for a BBQ. Or, it might mean signing them up for a few sports and other activities to meet new friends.
Your own attitude will also go a long way toward influencing how they feel. If you’re really excited about the move, there is a good chance they will be too.
Once your child reaches their teenage years, there is a good chance they have a more established social circle than a younger child would. So, moving can be particularly difficult for them. One of the best ways to help them through the process is to recognize and empathize with what they’re going through.
One way to help a teenager to navigate the process is to get them involved. That might mean taking them to look at new homes before you make a final decision to make sure you have their buy in. If you’re going to a new town, you might even take them over to a restaurant or a park to check it out.
While moving has the potential to be stressful, it can also be a lot of fun. So, as you prepare for your move, try your best to keep everyone looking on the bright side.
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