It Isn’t Always Easy: Preparing Your Child for an Upcoming Move
Most families will, at some point, move into a new home or to a new city. A move is not something that is light and fun for all and it can be quite disruptive, especially for children. Kids who do not know what to expect and those who face anxiety over the move are the most affected and may not completely understand what is going on.
Preparing your child for an upcoming move is the best decision you can make and will help your child feel at ease too. Below, we will talk about what you can do, as a parent, to help introduce the idea of moving to your child.
Talking About Moving with Toddlers and Preschool-Aged Children
Toddlers and infants are often the easiest to move with because there is not too much explaining that needs to go into it as they may not be able to grasp the idea of the move yet. Preschoolers often understand and need some reassurance about the move.
Some tips to help you talk about moving with toddlers and preschool-aged children:
- Visit the new home a few times before the move, if it is nearby
- Use a story to explain the move and what your child can expect to happen or find a book about moving and read it to them
- Always use clear explanations about the move
- Try to avoid making big changes at the same time as the move as this can cause a lot of anxiety
- Involve your child as much as possible when packing
Talking about Moving with Children Who Are School Aged
Children who are 5 and older, or in kindergarten or older, will need to be walked through the moving process. Children of this age will understand that there is something going on around them and keeping them in the dark will fuel anxiety.
Tips to help you talk about moving with a school-aged child:
- Explain to them where you are moving and visit the new house and area
- Let them have a party with their friends before the move
- Explain the process of everything being packed up and placed on the moving truck
- Use simple and clear sentences to explain the situation
- Allow them to help with the move and talk about the positives of a new home and city
Other Things to Consider When Moving with Children
Before you set your move date in stone, think about your children first. It is often recommended that you move in the summer, this way, children are not faced with starting a new school and leaving their friends midyear.
Teens are often more understanding about a move and do not need as much preparation or talks beforehand, however, you should still let them know the plan and talk about your expectations and what they can expect on the day of the move.
Once the move is completed, take your child out to explore the new area and create a positive experience.