Moving is stressful on everyone involved, especially if the move is a long distance. The stress on the children are often pushed to the background and only dealt with after the fact. This can make the entire move more hectic and take longer to settle into a new routine in a new family home. Here are the tips that can help ease the stress felt by your children prior to, during and after the move.
1) Sit your children down and have an open discussion on the move. How do they feel about it?
Don’t be startled if they aren’t excited about it. Do some research on the different events, parks, activities and schools so you can show the things that you will all get to do and see after the move. And most importantly, be honest about why the move is happening; age appropriate, but honest.
2) When your children show anger about leaving friends and family behind.
We live in a wondrous age of technology and social media. Make a plan with his friends and close family members to take a larger part in staying connected with your children. Skype is wonder, and FREE. Not only do you get to talk long distance, you get to see each other. It isn’t the same, but it can go a long way to ease your kids stress and anxiety. And make it clear that moving does not mean they will never see these people again. Visiting can always be an option.
3) Allow your children to help with the move.
There have to be a few items or boxes that they can help pack. Make them feel like they are a part of the process and not just watching what all the adults are doing and feeling like they are getting in the way. Give them age appropriate activities that will allow them to feel a sense of accomplishment.
4) Make sure there are kid friendly activities, games and most importantly – rests during the actual move.
Yes, this can and most likely will make the trip longer, but it will ease the stress and anxiety of your children if they have things to keep them busy during the long drive or airline flight. Bring along a mobile dvd player and their top 3 movies, games that are easy to play, or books to read. And make sure there are rest stops along the way so your kids can stretch their legs, look around and enjoy the changing scenery.
5) Set up your regular routine as soon as possible once you’re at your new home.
Ok, yes it is beyond stressful during a move and there are so many things that need to get done, but your kids will react much more positively if you set up their usual routine for them as quickly as possible. Even if it’s only meal and bed times, make sure they keep to it so they feel more secure in their new home.
These 5 steps may seem simple, but they will work wonders with your children in the event of a move. They need to feel included and heard. They need to keep to their regular schedule in order to feel secure in their new home. All of these things will make your move much easier and less stressful for you and your children. Whether you are moving across town to across the ocean, keep these steps in mind and your kids will be much happier. Happy moving.