People move for different reasons. It could be for a better school district, a new job, a better home, or even a divorce. Moving is a very stressful event in the life of an individual. There is no one cause for the stress of moving. It is simply the hosts of seemingly little things like budgeting, packing, and unpacking that add up to make moving very stressful. Research has shown that moving is among the three most stressful things that an individual can experience. The stress of moving affects you not just physically because of all the carrying you have to do, but also psychologically and financially. Moving affects adults on different levels. How many more children?
Moving is tough on children just as it is for adults. Regardless of the fact that they do not bear the financial responsibility that comes with moving, it is difficult for them especially because they do not feel in control of the situation. When the reason for the move is a negative one like a divorce or a bad financial situation, the chances of the move affecting the child are even higher. To ensure that your children are ready for a move, you will need to prepare them.
How To Prepare Your Children for a Move
It is very important in the process of moving for you to prepare your children for it. Preparing them makes them ready psychologically and physically for the move. This makes the whole process of packing and unpacking easier and faster for you and your children. A few tips have been put together to guide you in preparing your children.
- Break the news to them as early as possible
The earlier you tell your children about the move, the better. This gives them time to process the information. It also makes them feel involved in the decision making process. This reduces the feeling of not being in control that children tend to feel during a move. If you have not started house hunting, you can involve them in the process of house hunting. Telling your children about the move early gives them time to prepare psychologically which reduces the stress for them.
- Remind them at regular intervals of the move
It is necessary when your children are young to remind them regularly. You will need to be creative and find fun ways to remind them regularly so they do not forget and the moving does not come as a shock to them.
- Keep your children involved in the moving process
When your children are involved in the process of moving, everything will go much more smoothly. You can give them a date to start packing and tell them the date for the move if it is set. If your children are older, you can supply them with the things they need to pack and let them pack with little or no supervision. This will help make them feel responsible and in control. If they are younger, pack with them and have fun discussions about the new home and their new room while packing. During the process, let them make as many decisions as possible from the things to move with to the color of their new room.
- Respect their grief and get counseling if necessary
Understand that your children will be grieving the loss of their home, friends, and all other familiar things. Research has shown that moving affects children’s psychological state and even their health. You can get a counselor to help them with their emotions. Let them work through different stages of grief, anger, denial, depression, anxiety, and acceptance. Getting professional help before your children get into crisis mode is very important.
- Connect with the new home and area in advance
If you can afford the time, plan a tour of your new area with your children before the actual moving day. Check out the area, their new school, and fun spots around. Connecting with the people and environment in advance can help build positive anticipation for the new home.
- Plan visits to the town you are leaving
Plan visits to your old home before leaving. Ensure that this visit is within the first few months of your move. This will give your children something to look forward to. Taking a glimpse into the past is a good way to keep moving forward, even for children.
- Radiate positivity and excitement about the move
It is an established fact that moving is stressful. As a parent moving with children, you cannot let your stress and anxiety show. Children look to their parents for guidance even emotionally. So, if you are upset and stressed about moving, there is a high probability that your children will be stressed and upset about moving too. You are leading them by example. Think positive and act excited about the move. This is the energy your children will pick up. They will begin to radiate positivity and excitement when they sense it from you.
- Throw a moving away party for them
This is an amazing way to create beautiful lasting memories for you and your children. You can have your children plan some part of the event and of course, let them invite their friends. Take pictures for a special album and have a scrapbook where their friends can write special messages for them. You should have an address book to take down the contact information from friends.
- Decorate the new home to seem familiar
You can do this by putting familiar decorations in similar spots in your new home. You can also add their special toys to their room so it still feels like home to them.
- Plan new experiences in your new town
Search your new town for the fun spots and start planning to visit with your children when you move. Going to these fun spots will help your children settle in and even help them make new friends.
Moving will affect each child uniquely. Whatever the case is, study your children and know what will make the move easier for them individually and collectively.