Moving is never easy, but it can be extra difficult on children. No matter how much stress and frustration you might be feeling, remember that at least you have some sense of what it going on and how to cope. Your kids might not even have that much, and now they’re losing the one place where they’ve always felt comfortable and secure. They’ll be leaving their friends and everything else that was familiar to them, and they’ll probably need some help to get through this.
Your kids won’t know what to expect from the move or their new home, but there are some things you can do to ease the process and help them feel more confident about this major change in their lives.
1. Be open about the move.
If you try to be secretive about your plans to move, it will only make the kids feel more anxious. They’ll sense that something is going on, and the more you try to assuage their fears with promises of “it will all be fine” or “you shouldn’t worry about it too much,” you’ll only build up more anxiety. Don’t be afraid to talk about it with your kids. This will help them be open about their own concerns and fears.
You can actually work together to build excitement for the move. Take some time to learn something about your new location. Discover unique things about the area and focus on the positives. This will give them something to look forward to, rather than letting them dwell on the things they’re leaving.
2. Stay healthy and stick to the routine.
The busier you get with the move, the more tempting it will be to let certain things slide. You will start to think that it will be so much easier to pick up fast food or pizza and just let the kids eat whenever they can fit it in, but you need to avoid this temptation. Stick to your regular routine as much as possible. Eat together at your normal hour and make sure they are also sticking to the regular bedtimes. Kids are going to need to maintain their energy levels to get through this.
3. Commemorate the old home and neighborhood.
Let them know they don’t have to forget about everything they had at the old home. Get together and share your best memories, make sure that your older kids have all the necessary contact information to stay in touch with their friends, and even have a last party to celebrate the big day.
4. Expect them to help.
When you move, you kids can feel powerless as they lose everything they’ve known. Give them some responsibilities in the move and expect them to be part of the process. This will help them feel like they are taking control of something and contributing to this big experience. Have them help with packing and unpacking or give them specific assignments. They could be in charge of putting the kitchen in order or labeling all the boxes. If you expect them to live up to these jobs, they probably will.
You can also involve them in the new home. Let them pick the colors or decorations for their own room, and even let them have some input on the rest of the home.
5. Make the journey a trip.
You may be facing a long road to get to your new home, so turn the journey into a trip full of new things. Bring some materials to keep them entertained while they’re stuck in the car, but you should also stop at important places along the way. This may also help build anticipation, rather than anxiety, over arriving at the new home. Once you’re there, you can explore the area together, by taking a nice drive around town or walking around the neighborhood.
Author Bio: Martin Worthy is the Associate Director of Online Marketing at Ship Your Car Now and has many years of experience helping people move their cars long distances. Click here to see the cost of shipping a car.
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