Moving is a tough experience for everyone in the family, but it can especially be rough on kids. Psychology Today even featured an article about the psychological impact that moves can have on children that is worth a read if you want to know a little more about how a move effects children.
While we probably cannot avoid all of the mental anguish both adults and kids experience during a move, we an make it easier for everyone involved by trying to make the move as harmonious as possible. Here is a brief guide to how parents can help make moving with kids just a tad bit easier for all parties involved.
Taking the time to discuss all the important aspects of the move with your child can really make a huge difference in how the child perceives the move. As miniature members of the family, the want to know what is going on too! Discuss the move early and often with your little ones to help them fully understand the move. Also, make sure to address any concerns or questions they may have even if the concerns seem a tad bit on the silly side. A lot of fears of children about moving can be dispelled as long as those fears are actually talked about out in the open!
Working together makes a little less work for everyone, but it also makes little ones feel like they are involved in the moving process. Take the time to consider what sort of tasks would be appropriate for your child to help with making a list as you go. As a little extra bonus, giving them tasks will also keep them busy while you are busily working on the move. If you want to get creative with this part, even try to make a game out of the work that needs to be done.
Give Them a Break
Everyone has their bad days even us adults. It is important to remember that moving is a really big deal for kids who are sensitive to big changes. Occasionally your child may have a bad day where they are whining and crying excessively. We all have days where we feel a little on the cranky side, so try not to be too hard on them when they are getting a bit cranky about the big changes coming their way. We shouldn’t hold our children to higher standards than we would hold other adults!
Try to make moving to a new place a big adventure to kids so they feel like it is something to look forward to rather than dread. Don’t forget to talk about how fun it will be in the new place you are going to live. Also, it wouldn’t hurt about how awesome moving boxes are to play in once you guys finishing unpacking everything. Just remember, whenever possible try to talk about the move in a positive light around the kids, because a negative attitude can drag their moods down too.
Plan a rewards for you and your family once the move is finally finished it up. It could be something as elaborate as a vacation or simple as a sleep over. After all that hard work everyone deserves a little something special to help them recover from the difficulties of moving. Also, there is nothing wrong with having small rewards planned like candy, movies, game night and other entertainment to help kids keep motivated throughout the move.