If you have ever moved at least once in your life, you know how hard, exhausting and anxious the experience can be, even if you are moving to your dream house, your dream city or your dream country! The experience is even more challenging when you are moving because you want to be ANYWHERE but where you are right now! I have moved quite a few times now and let me tell you, is not always as fun! Not only because of the physical labor of packing and moving boxes, but is the mental stress, (Will 20 pairs of shoes fit in this tiny box?), the emotional (Do I REALLY need 20 pairs of shoes?), and the heartbreak of leaving important relationships behind (or 20 pairs of shoes…), maybe family or close friends. And that’s for you the adult, who is the one making the decision of moving (hopefully!) and you know why you are moving.
Now, imagine how hard it must be for your children! They didn’t make the decision, and they don’t understand why this is happening. But there are a few things that you can do to prepare them for this new adventure (let’s start using positive words!) and to decrease the anxiety of leaving their friends, school, maybe relatives and their whole world behind!!
So, here are a few tips of what to do BEFORE you move to make the transition easier:
- Tell them as soon as possible. Don’t wait until last minute. They need time to process the idea. Tell them why you are moving. Let them ask you questions and answer them as honest as possible. Don’t lie to them.
- Involve them in the moving process since the beginning. Let them be part of the move and the decision-making as much as possible.
- Let them give you ideas (implement a few so they feel they are part of it) about easier and better ways to pack things (Who knows, maybe they DO have better ideas!)
- Let them pack their own stuff. Let them choose what to take to their new home, what clothes, toys, shoes. This will give them a sense of control.
- Make a journal or scrapbook of the place you’re leaving and the new home! It’ll give them a chance to say goodbye to their current home and become excited about their new adventure! Gather some maps and brochures of the new place. Get them excited about what they are going to see!
- Create a scrapbook or address book of the friends and family members they are leaving behind, so that they can keep in contact.
- Have a special goodbye for your home and with friends.
- Be positive! “We’re not just moving, we are going on an adventure” (that one has helped me more than a few times and it still works!), “we’re going on a journey, to a new world!”
Well, I have to say these suggestions have worked for me! I think out of all the times I have moved, this is the one less stressful and I am a lot less anxious about! I am very excited and I can’t wait to start packing!! (Did I really just say that?!)
Have you ever moved to another home, city, state with children? Did you do something that eased the transition? Let us know!