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How To Avoid Stress When Moving With Kids

Posted On: 06/30/2016

Moving to a new home can be both exciting and unsettling for kids. On one hand, it’s fun to get a new bedroom, rearrange all your toys and explore the different spaces. But on the other hand, it can be fairly stressful. Starting a new school, leaving old friends behind and making new ones, which for some kids could be very stressful. The kids are always in our minds when we decide to move, but having a strategy to help them cope is a must. Children understand the world around them—what they can see and hear themselves—so a move disrupts that in ways kids don’t always appreciate.

Here are a few ways we can include our children in the moving process and help them transition from one home to the next.

  1. Be open and honest - As soon as your move is sure, have a talk with your kids. Children can take some time to process large changes, so giving them a period of time to digest this information is a good start. Try your best to highlight what won’t be changing, as well as the big positives to the new house, school, or neighborhood.

  2. Allow them to spend time with their friends - While you may be busy packing and preparing, your kids will be thinking about how their lives are going to change. Children spend a lot of time with their friends at school, so if you’re moving to a new school zone, allow them a lot of time to visit. While it may seem less important to you, as friends move in and out of kids’ lives, your child will only see the gravity of losing friends and being alone. Arrange play dates and excursions when possible, and assure them they’ll be able to see their old friends even after the move.

  3. Introduce them to their new area - In order for a child to visualize their new life, you’ll have to show it to them. Take a drive to see the new home and spend some time exploring the neighborhood around it. Create as much excitement as possible so your kid actually looks forward to the move rather than thinking about everything that will be missing.

  4. Include your kids in the decision-making process - While you’re packing up your life, get your kids involved! You’ll surely be throwing some stuff away, getting new things, and planning for the future; getting your children involved in that process will make them feel more stable about the move. If you have pets, get their opinion on how to make the move easy for them as well. If you give them a role they see as important, like taking care of the cat and its feelings, they’ll feel less like this is being done to them and more like they’re there with you for the ride.

  5. Just be there for them - Your kids will likely have a whole bunch of questions paired with a whole bunch of emotions. Being more available during the lead up to the move is imperative, as it gives your children opportunities to process what could be the biggest change in their lives thus far. Be honest but not alarming and excited but not crazy and you’re sure to have a smoother, less challenging move with your kids.