A move will be a stressful process for any family, especially for children who cannot fully understand the reason for the move and who may only understand that they will no longer be able to see their friends and usual surroundings everyday. Read on for 5 ways you can help your child adjust to a move.
Tell your child about the move early on to give them as much time as possible to prepare for the move. Putting off telling them and announcing it at the last minute will only lead to more stress on their part. Tell them everything the move will entail and what they can expect at their new home. If possible, bring them to their new home or community before the move, so they know where they are moving to. If it is not possible to bring them to the new home before the move, you can pull up pictures of their new home, school, and places they can go nearby.
Talk to Them
During the moving process, make sure to talk to your child and ask how they are feeling throughout it. Although moving is also a busy time for you, it’s important to make time to ask how they are and listen to their answers. If they are having trouble with this transition, you may want to consider finding a child or family counselor that they can talk with. Search ‘Centennial counseling’, ‘Colorado Springs counseling,’ or the area you are moving to for a list of counselors in your new area.
Stick to a Schedule
Although it will be difficult to keep their usual routine throughout the move, try to stick to it as much as you can. Changing up their eating and sleeping schedule during this time can lead to giving them even more stress. If you are planning on changing their usual routine, such as taking out a nap or moving from a crib to a bed, you may want to wait until after the move to not overwhelm them.
Highlight the Positives
When your child first hears about the move, they are likely to focus on the fact that they will have to leave their home and their friends. Help to redirect their attention to all of the positives that will come with moving. Positives could include new friends, a bigger room they can decorate, or fun activities in the new area.
It can be difficult to move with a child who is totally against it. Remember this time can be even more difficult for them. So many parts of their life are about to change against their will. Be extra patient with them throughout this time and maybe let some behaviors go that you normally wouldn’t.
The moving process is stressful for anyone, but will likely be especially difficult for a child. Making sure to be extra supportive and patient during this time will make the transition easier for them and therefore you as well.