Moving House: 10 Ways to Help Children Cope with the Stress
Posted: Jul 07, 2019
Moving is, hands down, the most important occasion of the family and is a demanding job. The back-breaking job of packing and moving all your stuff even to a different locality in the same town is tedious.
When you have children with you, then it becomes twice as harder to convince them about the move. Small children may not be ready to move an unfamiliar house while big kids may feel bad about leaving behind their friends. So, the children will be stressed out about the relocation and it is up to the parents to make the move easy on them. In this situation, how can you make the move less stressful on the kids? Let’s see some simple ways.1. Be Prepared When You Break the News
When you announce to the kids for the first time about the relocation, be prepared for the outbursts of anger and frustration. Though you may personally feel that the relocation is the best thing for the family currently, your kids may not agree to it.
When your kids are expressing their anger or sadness, listen to them first even if you want to justify the move so badly. Give some time for the kids to vent out all their feelings and calm down. When they are finally in the stage where they are ready to listen, then talk about all the good things they get to experience at the new location. Be optimistic and try to pass on the optimism to the kids too.2. Show the Positive Side of the MoveGet some time off your hectic work and spend the time with the kids. Understand why they feel reluctant and move and show them all the positive things. Explain the reason clearly about the move. It is crucial for the kids to know the actual reason, which actually makes them feel valued and important.
Once you have communicated the reasons, start talking about how good their life is going to be in that new location. Keep talking about the positive aspects of the move whenever you can to embed the optimism on to them too.3. Involve the Kids in the Moving Process
When the kids are feeling the anguish about the move, it is essential to make them feel included in the family. The best way to get your packing work done on time and to help the kids in taking their mind off from the moving day, you can involve your kids with the move.
Start by giving them small jobs like bringing the boxes, giving you the cut pieces of cellophane and marking on the boxes. You can also ask the kids to make their own version of the moving house checklist where they list down all the things they wish to do before they move out. This will give you time to interact with the kids and make them feel like a part of the moving process.4. Respect and Acknowledge the Kid’s Feelings
When the kids are expressing their real feelings about the relocation, acknowledge it and show them you completely understand what they are going through. Don’t try to stifle the kids from expressing their feelings. Let them talk their heart out to you or to anyone they want.
Do not feel bad when they express their frustration with their friends or relatives. It is completely normal for the kids to find a different outlet for their outburst and instead of feeling offended, be happy that they can take it out. Respect what they are going through and give them space accordingly to get adjusted to the fact that the move is definitely going to happen.5. Make Packing Fun and Interesting
While small kids may feel happy when you give them some moving work, the older ones may not always be in agreement to do the chores. Therefore, make it enjoyable with some food and games and double it as family time. Play some music, have some snacks nearby and let the kids decorate their own boxes, playfully push it around each other and have a good time.
And when the kids have successfully completed their work, take them out to play, to swim or to eat ice cream as a treat.6. Don’t Compromise on the Kids’ Daily Schedule
You may have to do many things when moving house and it is easy to get distracted from the family chores. You may even end up forgetting to prepare the dinner or miss out on the kid’s school function. These are the small stuff that affects the kids during the moving process and could make them even more hostile towards the move. Therefore, ensure that, you do not miss out on any family duties no matter how busy you are with the moving jobs.7. Turn the Moving Day into a Family Trip
The day of the move is the hardest when the kids have to say goodbye to their friends and all the dear hangout spots. Therefore, to keep their mind off from the sad reality of leaving all their friends behind and starting fresh, convert the moving day into a family trip.
Take a car, pack up some food, play some songs and make stops at beautiful spots on the way. Let the kids forget their anxiousness and have a good time during the move.
8. Let the Kids Decorate the New Rooms
When your kids are feeling down, you can relax down the parental controls a bit. You can declare that the kids can decorate their rooms as they like to include choosing the paint colour, the patterns on the wall and the position of the stuff.
You can even take them out on a shopping spree where they can buy posters and other assorted items to decorate their room in the way they like. This option will give them something to look forward to during the relocation and will also keep the heat off from you a bit.
9. Help the Kids to Settle at the New Location
Once you have moved to the new location, take the kids out to the park, playground and the local pizza parlour. Help them to get familiarized with the location and if possible, introduce them to a few other kids of their age.
After you moved in, you can even host a party or a get-together to meet and interact with the neighbours. This will give the kids some chance to interact with others of their age and even start making friends.
10. Stay in Touch with the Old Community
Your kids may have left their friends back at the old place and this sudden shift of the scenario could throw them off balance. Hence, let the kids keep in touch with old friends. For small kids, you can ask them to send handwritten postcards and for older ones, encourage them to video call and talk about their life in the new place to the old friends.
If you have moved to the same town, then you can take your kids over once in a while for some uninterrupted face time with the kids too.
When you are moving with your kids, you may not have proper time to pack or plan the relocation as obviously, the kids come first. Hence, you can hire some good removals to take over the major portion of the relocation.
Libby Watson is a writer with expertize in multiple fields. She loves traveling and writing as her favorite hobby.