Moving can be stressful enough, between settling on a home and packing up belongings. But when you throw a child into the mix, no matter their age, things can get even more difficult.
Take charge of your move, and help kids understand the process, by following these tips.
A newborn baby will obviously not be able to comprehend the complexities of moving, but a walking, babbling toddler can understand more than we would think. Discussing the move in terms they can understand and making it into an adventure is a good way to get them excited.
For kids between zero and three years old, it’s also important to maintain their usual routine as closely as possible. It might seem tricky, but keeping this balance will ensure a smooth transition.
By age six, your child likely already is comfortable in their school—with friends they enjoy spending time with—making a move a difficult prospect to wrap their heads around. Be sure to explain the move in as much detail as possible, and consider reading a children’s book on the subject.
Also be sure to give them adequate time to discuss their own concerns and fears, and share yours with them as well. Being open and honest about the pros and cons of moving will help put them at ease.
The life of a teenager can be complicated enough without throwing a move into the mix, but it’s important to remember that every adolescent is different, and the time and space it may require for them to feel comfortable in their new space will vary.
Make them feel a part of the decision by asking for their input, and giving them tasks to complete that can help in the process, like choosing a design for their new room or helping out with brothers and sisters. It’s also important to include them in tours of their new school and help them find activities to join to find a new friend group.