Moving can bring about a plethora of different emotions for your child. These can include excitement, sadness, anger, joy, and even all of them at once. Use these tips to help your child cope with a big move so that they will flourish in their new environment.
Kids, both young and old, can benefit from seeing visuals before a move. If it’s not possible for them to visit the new home before moving, take pictures and show them. This will help them to process what their new home will look like before they move in. Additionally, find things that are fun in the community that they can be a part of. Via Google search, show them pictures of these activities so that they can process what their place will look like in the community.
Providing children, even as young as 3, with a sense of control will help them. One easy way to do this is to let them pick out some things for their new room. Ask them what they want to add to the walls, if they want to paint, etc. This may make them excited and look forward to a fresh new start, as opposed to the scary unknowns. In the meantime, prepare for moving day accordingly and get ready to organize and throw away items that your child no longer needs.
Books are a great way to help children subconsciously and consciously process moving. Find books on moving that bring up grief in children. Let them feel their emotions and accept the different stages they’ll go through: denial, sadness, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. If possible, try to read the book at a different time than bedtime. It’s hard for a child to fall asleep alone trying to process something so big. By reading the book earlier in the day, they’ll be able to process in the daylight and even strike up conversations with you as the day progresses.
A big move can bring up big emotions in your child. Respect these emotions and simultaneously prepare them as best as possible. Follow these tips to help your child cope with the big move, and, hopefully, they’ll experience the joy of discovering a new environment and home. Remember that with every low is a high. When the hard times come while you move, take a deep breath, help your child process everything, and remember that better days are ahead.