I spent my entire childhood, teenage years and college years living in the same home. It wasn’t until I got married that I moved somewhere new. This, however, is not the norm. In fact, in most cases, families rarely spend over 15 years in the same home. Sooner or later, everyone thinks about moving. However, thinking about moving isn’t the same and actually moving. I mean everyone fantasizes about moving. Yet some of us do have to make the decision to move our families. Whatever your reasons may be, moving is never an easy decision especially when children are involved. For this reason, you want to make sure the whole family is in on the decision so that no one feels left out. Moving is an experience that is both exciting and stressful for everyone, and it’s often the children who feel the most stressed and confused. Why? Well, because children (especially young children) have strong attachments to the home they live in.In some cases, the young children are more attached to the home than their parents are.
Here are five ways we helped our kids deal with moving:
1. Plan your future together
The most important thing to remember is that you need to ensure that your children feel involved in the process. Taking them along to see different homes is a plus. They will enjoy tagging along and love that they have some input in the new home they are going to live in. We did this with our children and they said it helped because even though they were sad about moving they were kind of looking forward to finding a new home together.
2. Let them help plan their rooms
During the moving process, the whole family tends to be a bit sentimental. It’s hard for some to leave behind what they know. As the parent, you can help lift their spirits by creating a little bit of excitement. We found it helpful to let the children choose their bedrooms in the new house before you move in. Have them choose the color, theme, furniture etc. This will get them excited about the new house.
3. Mentally prepare them for the move
Try not to rush into moving with children it is best to ease into your plans of moving. Ideally, you should begin to prepare them at least a month in advance. You’d want them to be prepared for the move but you don’t want to give them so much time to they find themselves getting overwhelmed about it. Sometimes, time is of the essence and you might not have the amount of time you would like to have. If you find that you need to have the conversation sooner than you thought just remember to talk them through it.
4. Cherish the memories you had at the old home
Please reassure your kids that it is okay to feel sad about moving. Let them know that the memories you made in the old home should be cherished and that together you will make new memories. It is important to have this conversation early on. Encourage your child to express his/her thoughts on moving. Ask if they are excited, sad, or a little bit of both? Reassure them that moving house can be an exciting period, and it can be difficult for young children to realize what they’re going to miss about their old home. It might help to make a memory book and add pictures of the rooms, yard and other rooms that they’ll miss so much.
5. Reassure them that everything is going to be okay
It’s common for your children (especially the young ones) to experience some tantrums. This might led an already stressed parent to be more stressed but please keep in mind that if moving has been stressful for you, then imagine what your children are feeling. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you be patient with your children. Make sure they understand that you accept their feeling and will do anything you can to make the move a smooth transition for everyone. We must also reassure them that moving to a new house can be an exciting/sad time and that it is okay for them to feel a little bit of both. However, please remember that moving can be difficult for young children to realize what they’re going to miss about their old home. Make a scrapbook together before moving, let them use your smartphone to take pictures of the rooms they’ll miss so much, and explain that the most important aspects of their family life will stay the same even though you’re moving.