Our family is currently in the process of moving, and life has certainly been hectic. Between trying to keep the house spotless for viewings — not so easy with an 18-month old! — and packing our belongings, here are some tips I found to be helpful to make the transition easier for our family.
Moving can be a very exciting, but very stressful time, not only for parents, but for kids too. It’s scary to change homes, switch schools, and leave friends. Trying to stay positive can make the change a little easier on the whole family.
Talking about the move is a great way to get your kids involved and feel prepared. Have them help look for the new house, or talk about the new school they will be attending. If the move is local, try visiting the neighborhood and making trips to the new house. Try finding local libraries or parks to visit, allowing your child to see the fun places in their new town. You may even be able to join local classes or set up play dates to help your child make new friends. If the move is long distance, show them pictures of the house. Give them fun facts about their new state or town. Use something like Google Maps to locate places to participate in their favorite activities.
You can also try getting kids involved with decorating the new house. Encourage them to pick out new paint colors for their room or a new comforter set or posters for their wall. Once moved, if possible, try to set up their room similar to the previous house, to allow some familiarity. You can also ask them where they would like to hang favorite family photos in your new home.
When packing your children’s belongings, remind them that they will be at the new house, and reassure them you are not throwing their toys away. Pretend play may help get them used to the move; use toys, trucks, dolls, etc. to mimic the move.
After moving into the new place, try to keep routines as similar as possible, sticking to the same bedtimes and meal times. Take your children to meet their new teachers at the new school. Some schools will set up a buddy system, with another student to show your son or daughter the school. If you know someone in the new school, see if they can show your child around or introduce them to new friends.
Keeping in Touch
Give your child ways to stay in touch with their old friends, like phone calls, emails, Face Time/Skype. If you’re close enough, still setting up play dates with old friends.
With the big change of the move, try not to make other changes with your child. Hold off on potty training or transitioning from a crib to a bed. Also, remember kids who have been potty trained or who used to sleep through the night may regress until they’re more comfortable in their new surroundings.
Reassurance is key in these situations. Some kids will make the transition smoothly. Others may need extra time to adjust. Some may even benefit from seeing a therapist. You can always contact us, or call the back of you insurance card for recommended providers. Also remember when you move to have important documents, like transcripts and medical records, easily accessible.
Hopefully these tips can be helpful for your family too, and good luck with the move!
Brianna Rothbauer is a former Kids Plus Provider.