What to Do If Your Children Are Stressed Out About Moving to a New HomeOn November 11, 2021 by Atika Husain
Children might not have to do much when it comes to moving, but they find it as stressful as you do. Kids thrive on routine and familiarity. So, when something threatens to disturb the life they’re used to, that can bring out anxiety and even anger. Frequently, when parents break the news to their children that they will be moving, they get a bad reaction and don’t really know how to deal with it.
If that’s the case with your kids, here are several steps you can take to reduce the stress they feel about moving to a new home.
Give Them As Many Details As You Can
First off, you can’t just tell your children you’re moving and leave it at that. They will have a lot of questions — and understandably so. That is why it is a good idea to give your children as much information about their new lives as possible, including:
- the exact date of the move
- the name of your new neighborhood
- the name of their school
- the reason you’re moving
- if that reason is work, tell them about your new job
It might seem like this information is irrelevant for children. However, they’ll have an easier time coming to terms with moving if they feel like they’re in the loop.
Give Them Something To Look Forward To
When you first tell your children about the move, all they’ll be focusing on is what they’re leaving behind. Their school, friends, grandparents, their bedroom, the park where they play — it’s a lot. That is why it’s important to give them some things to look forward to in the new home.
So, gather all the information about their new school: what clubs they have, where they go for their annual school trips, etc. Find some pictures online and show them what their classrooms are going to look like. See if the school has any festivals or fairs and tell them about that.
The same goes for your new home: point out all the ways in which it’s better than your current home (a backyard, a bigger bedroom, etc.). You should also tell them about the unique features of the new town or neighborhood, especially things that might be of interest to them, such as large playgrounds, amusement parks, and cinemas.
Even if they seem uninterested at first, they’ll start thinking about it, and soon they’ll come to you to talk about the new exciting things!
Involve Them in the Decisions
Obviously, you can’t ask your children to weigh in on things like choosing a moving company. For that, you want to turn to experts such as Nancy Zafrani, the general manager of NYC moving company Oz Moving and Storage. She said: “If you’re not sure which moving company to choose, go with a known, local moving company.
They’re prepared for anything.”
But there are still ways to include your kids in the decision-making process. For example, you can let them pick out some of the furniture for your new home. They might not have an opinion on the color of kitchen cabinets, but they will appreciate being asked.
And when it comes to their bedroom, you should let them decorate it to their liking — allow them to choose the wall color, new bedspread, and maybe some additional decorative items, such as toys or movie posters.
That way, they’ll feel like they have more control of a completely new environment. Plus, it’s another thing to look forward to in the new house.
Cut Them Some Slack
Faced with a move to a completely unknown place, your children might become more clingy or emotional and require more attention. Although this might contribute to your already stressful moving process, it’s important to allow them to process these emotions at their own pace. So, let a temper tantrum slide this time.
You might also want to think about cutting them some slack when it comes to your usual behavior rules. You can let them stay up a little later, give an extra candy after lunch, or allow extra TV time. Sometimes these little things are all they need to feel better!
Pack Their Things Last and Unpack Them First
When you’re busy packing, and your home is a mess, your children will need their safe space and the things they’re used to. That includes their toys, favorite blankets, special mugs, etc. So, even if you want to get their toys and blankets out of the way as they are easy to pack, make them the last item on your packing list.
Then, when you get to your new home, set up your children’s room first. Creating a space that feels at least somewhat familiar to them is essential during these first couple of days. So even if it means the house will be in chaos for a bit longer, create a calm space for the kids in order to help them adjust.
Plan Some Fun Activities For Your First Week
Once you’ve unpacked and settled in for a bit, plan some activities for your kids that will make them fall in love with the new place. The plans don’t have to be anything too complicated. Anything that includes the whole family will do. For example:
- Going to that playground or amusement park you showed them
- Trying out some pizza restaurants
- Making a blanket fort in your new living room
- Taking them to the local library and letting them pick out books and games
Moving might be more complicated for grownups who have to make the decision and take care of everything. However, it’s as stressful for kids to have their whole life uprooted in a short time. Children typically don’t react well to any change, let alone one as big as moving. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the transition more comfortable for your children.