6 Tips to Help your Young Children Cope with the Stress of Moving
Moving to a new house or apartment should be an exciting experience for all concerned. Do be mindful though that your kids may be both excited and apprehensive about this. The prospect of a new home, school and friends should be fun; however it also means cutting ties with old friends and learning to adapt to a new environment. If you have moved before, you will know that there are pluses and minuses when it comes to house moving. Keeping in mind these tips on how to help kids deal with a move should make the experience easier for you to handle, especially if you have small children. You and your spouse will want to keep stress down to a minimum in order to ensure a smooth transition to the new house or apartment.
Coping Tip 1: Introduce the kids to the new house before you move in
If you do have young children, take them to the new place for a reconnaissance visit before you move in. Some children tend to become anxious when being uprooted. Taking them to see their new home and neighbourhood can help to put any fears to rest. Let them check out the library, park, school and any other place that they are likely to frequent. This will instil a sense of calmness and more importantly, give them ownership of the new home and environment.
Coping Tip 2: Involve your children in the planning and decoration
Motivate your children to be happy about the move by involving them in the room plans of the new home. They can help with decorating certain rooms, starting with their own room or rooms. Ask them for input regarding furniture and paint colours if you intend painting the inside of your new house. It presents a great opportunity to teach children about budgeting and managing money. All of this activity will distract them from the potential sadness of leaving friends behind at the old school and neighbourhood.
Coping Tip 3: Involve the kids in packing
This will be a good time for your kids to realize that clutter is not good and must be removed. You should work with your children to remove all clutter from each room in the house. Allowing them to help you, gives them the independence to make decisions about what they are prepared to get rid of. Gadgets, clothing and toys that simply take up space should be either sold or given away. Either way, you win; you either recover some money or enjoy the feel good factor experienced when being able to bless someone less fortunate than you are. A valuable lesson for children to learn at any age.
Coping Tip 4: Have a farewell party
Your kids will want a chance to say goodbye to the people they like. Having a farewell party is a good way for them to do so. it’s also fun and an effective way to take your kids’ mind away from the sadness and stress caused by the move. It lets them enjoy themselves and lifts their spirits, all of which will help them cope better when moving day comes.
Coping Tip 5: Pack their personal toy bag
Have your kids pack their own personal bag, fill with their favourite toys. Allow them to choose the toys that go into this bag. Do not place this bag into the mover truck with all your other moving boxes. Instead this bag should be kept with them during the move so that they will have access to their favourite toys at all times. In times of stress, toys can be a source of comfort for children.
In addition, this will take away the stress of having to unpack every carton box immediately on arriving at your new home, just to find a toy your child wants immediately.
Speaking of toys, it is also best to pack the rest of their toys last. This is so that they will not be deprived of their toys for more days then is absolutely necessary.
Coping Tip 6: Help your children settle in
On arrival at your new home, busy as you are, make it a priority to help your children settle in. Ensure that your children’s rooms are set up first and in the manner that was planned and discussed in coping tip 2. Make a big deal about how beautiful their new room look and how exciting the new neighbourhood is. Line up some fun activities over the next few days for them to take their minds away from thoughts of their loved ones and friends they left behind. As far as possible, maintain the same daily routine. When it is time for them to go to their new school, be sure to accompany them and help them settle in. Most importantly, ensure that the lines of communication are open; let your children know that you will always be there for them and that they should confide in you if ever they feel sad or down.