Everybody knows that moving is a stressful time. Even if you are excited about the move, the process is a lot to handle. This stress can be even worse on children. Many children dread moving. It means saying goodbye to friends and family, in many cases. It's also hard to adjust, even if you are moving across town. Here are some tips to help avoid a stressful moving situation for your children:
1. Take Your Time. The best thing that you can do, if possible, is to stretch the move into several days. Begin packing way in advance. Let your children help with the packing (and box labeling, etc.). If you move your entire house in one day, children don't grasp what is going on. It also exhausts the parents and children, causing a very grumpy few days after the move. If you are only moving locally, ask if you can move some boxes in prior to the actual "big move". This helps to transition and it also is a big stress reliever for adults as well.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for help. This is definitely the time to ask for a play date or hire a fun baby sitter. Keeping your children occupied during the move will help distract them from the drama and it will also give you some free time to concentrate on the task at hand: moving!
3. Decorating! Your child may feel like leaving their old room behind is a very hard thing to do. If you can, let them decorate their new room! What color paint would they like for the walls? Where would they like the bed placed? This type of thing can really help with anxiety over a new home or room. Plus it's a great way to bond with your child and really make them excited for the move.
4. Keep in touch! If you're moving out of state or town, help your child to understand that they can still keep in touch with friends or relatives. I suggest making self addressed envelopes to hand out. Your child will love getting mail at the new house and will also enjoy coloring pictures or writing letters to send back.