You can reduce the amount of stress they’ll have to cope with by preparing your young children for a move in advance. Familiarity and routine are important to children and a move disrupts that. It can cause anxiety, making your child fearful or even hostile to the idea. By preparing them each step of the way, you can ease their minds and make the transition smoother.
Talk About It
The truth is the best way of preparing your child for a move. Depending on their age and their nature, you may want to wait until closer to the actual move but don’t wait too long. They need time to adjust, too. Let them ask questions, voice their concerns and the make them part of the planning process. Having a vested interest in how the move takes place makes it less frightening.
Preparing Preschool and Younger Children
Packing a child’s toys can be scary to them. They may not understand that it is only temporary so be sure to explain it and leave their favorite toys for the last possible minute. Use toys to act out the moving event by driving a toy car to new home and putting the toys inside it. The visual imagery helps them understand. If possible, take your child to see the new home. Let them explore the rooms and the yard. Try not to plan the move when other stressful events are going on like toilet training or moving a toddler from his crib to a new toddler bed. In fact, keeping the same furniture in much the same layout will help your child adjust to the new surroundings.
Both before the move and after maintain family routines. Meal times and bedtimes should be followed. If you participate in activities, try to keep up with them. Providing a sense of continuity can make preparing your young child for a move easier for both of you.
Just as you will need a survival kit filled with essential items for the move, so will your child. Include items that he is attached to such as a favorite blanket or toy, snacks and drinks for during the actual travel portion of the move and any medications he might need. If possible, try to set up your child’s new room as soon as possible. Seeing his things around him as soon as possible can ease his sense of loss.
About the Author:
Lisa Mason is a freelance writer with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles and the author of How to Earn a Living Writing for the Internet. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content in more than 10 years as a professional writer.