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5 Ways To Prepare Your Kids for a Big Move

March 10, 2022

by carol evenson, guest contributor

Moving is a difficult experience for everyone. You have to pack up years of belongings into boxes. You also have to notify everyone - from your friends and relatives to the post office - that your address is changing.

For kids, moving can be particularly tough. Even if your new home is only a few blocks away from your old one, your children will have to deal with the disruption of their normal lives. If you are moving across the country or across the globe, the adjustment will be even greater. Younger kids may not understand what happened and may still expect to see their old friends hanging out in their new neighborhood. Older kids, meanwhile, may get angry and lash out at their parents.

Thus, you should start preparing your kids for the big move as soon as possible. Here are five tips to help them get ready.

Before the Move

1. Talk to Them

Once you have used a mortgage qualification calculator and found a house you can afford, it is time to talk to your kids about the move to come. Show them on a map where they will be living. You should then encourage them to ask any questions that they have. Tell them to be honest about their fears and concerns. Listen and understand your kids' thoughts instead of trying to minimize them.

Reassure your children that it is normal to experience numerous different emotions before a major event such as a move. Your kids should also understand that their feelings may change as moving day draws closer.

2. Make the Move Fun and Interactive

While you may be feeling more and more stressed before the move, don't put all of that emotion out there for your children, let them see the healthy tools you use for coping. Try to keep yourself together as much as possible.

You should also consider making the move an interactive experience for your children. Create a countdown clock so your kids can see exactly when you are leaving your current home. You can also make a scrapbook that documents both your old home and the best parts of the new neighborhood.

Your children will feel less anxious about the move if they get to participate in the process. Let them visit the home ahead of time and pick out which rooms they want as their own. Then give your children some say in the layout of those rooms. Younger kids can decide what color to paint the walls, while older children can hone their interior design skills.

Similarly, you can have your children decorate the boxes that will be used to transport their belongings during the move. This will keep them busy while you pack, and it will make it easy for you to find their toys and valuables once you arrive at the new house.

After the Move

3. Start With the Kids' Rooms

After the movers leave, you should set up your children's rooms first. The rest of the home may be in chaos, and you may have to order takeout for a few evenings. Yet the kids can spend their first night in the house surrounded by their favorite stuffed animals and wearing their familiar pajamas. They will also have safe places to relax and play while you unpack the rest of the boxes.

4. Avoid Changes to the Kids' Schedules

Similarly, you should try to keep the kids' schedules as normal as possible. A move is not the time to transition your child from a crib to a toddler bed. The more predictable your kids' daily routines remain, the easier it will be for them to adjust.

5. Unpack Personal Items First

You should additionally hang up family photos throughout the house as soon as possible. This will make an unfamiliar house feel more like home.

Your kids may feel upset or angry about leaving their home for a new city, state or country. By following the above tips, you can help your children adapt to this sudden change.

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