Telling your child that you’re moving can bring about a different array of emotions. Your child may not understand, your child may be happy or your child may break down. Moving is a major life change to a child, and in order to make it easier on your children, here are a few tips to help you.
Bring children with you to house hunt.
One of the best things you can do to make moving easier on your child is to bring them with you to look at houses. This may make the move less scary if they can see the place they’ll live and even have the chance to pick out their own room. If you cannot physically take your child to the house because you’re moving cross country, make sure to show your child pictures of the house online so they can get a better feel for it.
Be there to answer questions.
Your child is going to have a lot of questions when you tell them that you’re moving, so make sure that you talk openly with them and answer all their questions honestly. If you’re moving due a job change, make sure to let them know. If they’ll be going to a new school, be sure to tell them that. Then, make sure that you’re there to answer any questions they may have and let them know that you’re there for them.
Let them pick a theme for their new room.
Give your child the ability to decorate their new room. Allow them to pick out the color or theme. You may even allow them to get new furniture to add to the theme of their new room too. Sometimes being able to make a room their own will make the move less tragic for your child.
Have a party.
Allow your child to have a party before you move. This way, they can hang out with their friends one last time and they can say goodbye to anyone (and anything) that they’ll miss. Make sure that your child also gets addresses (real and email) as well as phone numbers of anyone they want to stay in contact with. This way, they can call their friends or write letters when they get into their new home.
Have them pack a favorites box.
Give your child a box or suitcase and allow them to put their favorite things inside. Then, instead of packing this box with the rest of your belongings, allow your child to have this box with them during the ride. This way, all of their favorite items will be close by during the move, which may make them more comfortable.
Keep them out of actual moving day.
It may be a good idea to see if your child can go to a friend or relative’s house during moving day. This way, they won’t have to watch you pack up your house, and it will keep them out of the way of getting hurt during the chaos. But before you start actually moving, make sure that you allow your child to come and say goodbye to the house. This can be a great sense of closure for your child.
Caroline Jones is a journalist and mother of four. Having recently moved with her family, she writes about the difficulty of moving with kids and tips on how to make it easier on them.