by Ryan Howard, Smart Parent Advice
When you think about moving, all sorts of things come to mind. There is the fun and excitement of finding a new home. But, there is also the daunting task of packing. Then, there is the anxiety that comes from living in a new neighborhood with unfamiliar surroundings.
If you have a family, there are even more things to think about. Moving might mean a change of school or daycare providers for kids, and really a whole different world. Kids process stress and change much differently than adults. So, in this article we’re covering how to make moving easier on your kids.
Letting your kids know about a move in advance may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Even if you decide to give your kids a bit of notice ahead of time, what does that mean exactly? Actually, it means different things for kids at different ages.
If you have a toddler, you might start talking about things a couple of weeks before moving day. Toddlers don’t have the same concept of time that older kids do, so it’s not really necessary to give them months and months of notice.
For older kids though, it can be nice to have a few months to adjust to the idea. After all, middle school children and high schoolers have much more development social circles. So, a move can actually be a bit unnerving.
Moving time can be a great opportunity to take inventory of all of the things that you’ve accumulated. You might take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of things that no longer have a place in your life. That said, you don’t want to get rid of everything.
Bringing some familiar possessions from one home to the next can help everyone feel settled. If you have an infant or a toddler, simply bringing the same decorations, furniture, and even the space heater for their nursery can be a great way to help them acclimate to their new environment. After all, all of these things will help make an unfamiliar room feel a little more like home.
As a parent, you’ll generally have at least a few chances to check out the new neighborhood before moving. For kids though, this is not always the case. A lot of parents do their house hunting while their kids are in school, daycare or otherwise occupied. However, if your kids don’t get to see their new neighborhood until the day of the big move, the experience can be a bit shocking.
To make things easier, you might take your kids to check out the new neighborhood. You can bring a push handle tricycle, bike, or stroller and make a fun activity out of it. This will give your kids a chance to soak in the surroundings. You can even point to your new home from the outside so they can start to form a mental image.
Kids pick up on your emotions. So, try and focus on the positives and excitement of moving instead of the stress and anxiety. Maybe there is a park near your new home that would be great for roller skating. Or, maybe there is an ice cream shop within walking distance. Pointing out little things like this can make a big difference on how your kids perceive the move.
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