Posts Tagged ‘moving and stress on kids’

It’s overwhelming preparing to move to a new home. When the move is from a home that is the only one your child(ren) has ever known, it can be even more stressful for both the parents and child(ren). Having recently relocated, I know this all too well. Not only did we have to pack, clean, toss, organize, sell, move and unpack on the other end but we also had to prepare Lilah for the coming changes. Moving is never easy especially if you’re moving away from great neighbors, even if the change is for all the right reasons.

Here are some things we did to make the move easier for her.

  1. Involve your child in the process. Kids like to feel important. When we were looking at homes she walked through with us. We always asked her opinion about them. She’s going to live there too, and I would never want her to live somewhere she was uncomfortable in or had a bad feeling about. I would point out things that were better about the new place such as a BIG backyard or things she loved that were the same as our current house.
  2. Explain why you’re moving. Is it a change in jobs? Moving to be near better schools? Or something else. Obviously, depending on the reason this could vary in difficulty. They don’t have to know all the ins and outs, but do your best to explain in simple terms. Children pick up on their parents’ attitudes so no matter how stressful it gets, try to maintain a positive outlook.
  3. Ownership. Let your child choose what they want to take to their new room or even the wall color. We had Lilah’s old room decorated with stars and wall appliques. When we moved she decided that she only wanted the white stars and no appliques. She also got to pick out her curtains.
  4. Hold off on any drastic changes such as potty training. I’ve heard from more than one parent that their child reverted back to diapers during or following a recent move after being potty trained. It’s a stressful situation. Wait until they are acclimated to the new home.
  5. Move day. The day of the move Lilah went to grandma’s house – which always makes her happy. She spent the night there enabling us to immediately set up her room so upon her return at least one thing would be business as usual. This also allowed our cats to have a comfortable space to get used to the new house in without Lilah bothering them. Trust me this was better for both animals and child. 
  6. Keep a regular schedule. Children thrive on routine and familiarity. Try to keep in place as many routines (bedtimes, mealtimes, etc.) as possible since it helps your child cope with the new ones. We were lucky and didn’t move far away, so she is still at the same school and we even use the same freeway exit to get home. If you are in a different area and you used to regularly go somewhere after school, say the park or a favorite place to eat, then find something similar in the new location.

It’s improbable that a child would not miss something about their previous home. When we first moved, Lilah told me at different times that she wanted to go back to our last home. Generally, when I asked why, she said it was that she missed our neighbors or missed playing with something. In most cases, I could solve the issue because we still had everything she wanted, but it was just in a new place. However, when I couldn’t, I just told her that I missed that too, but we would make new memories in our new home that were going to be even better!

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