If your home is full of boxes, bins, and bags, your child might wonder what is going on. Moving is a challenging time for anyone — especially a child. If you have kids, take a look at the simple strategies to make the move easier.
Talk to Your Child
Everyone in the family needs to know about the move, including your children. Even though the kids may not have a say with where or when you’ll move, they need to know the details about your decisions.
What should you tell your child and how should you talk to them about the move? While specific discussion topics and methods vary by family, consider:
- Your child’s age. The way you talk to your child and the detail you go into depends on your child’s age. Give toddlers and preschoolers the basics. Older children, tweens, and teens can handle more information.
- Your child’s reaction. A child feeling sad, angry, or anxious about a move is completely normal. Acknowledge your child’s feelings and address any fears or other issues immediately.
- Your child’s questions. Does your child feel uncertain about what’s to come? Give your child the chance to ask as many questions as they want.
With knowledge comes power. This type of power (in your moving situation) provides comfort and a sense of control during this major transition. The more information you give your child right now, the better.
Show Photos to Your Child
Some children, especially toddlers and preschoolers, may not understand the words you use as you talk about the move. If your child has a limited vocabulary, still has questions, or isn’t developmentally ready to understand what a move really means, use photos as a teaching tool.
How can pictures compliment your moving discussion? Show your child photos of:
- The new house. This includes both the exterior and the interior. If possible, show your child a picture of their new room.
- The new city or town. Help your child to picture their new community. Look at photos of their new school or daycare center, the local library, parks, toy store, or anything else that might interest them.
- The new neighbors. If you’ve already met your new neighbors, show your child photos of them — especially if they have kids of a similar age.
Along with showing your child photos of their new environment, look at pictures of the moving process. Plenty of photos and videos are online that include packing, moving boxes, and moving trucks.
Role Play With Your Child
Now that your child knows what to expect, help them to work out their feelings through a role-play scenario prior to your move day. Use this as an opportunity to:
- Act out packing. This can help your child to prepare for having to pack away favorite toys and other playthings.
- Act out the move. Before using your boxes and bins, have your child play the role of the mover. They can move empty boxes from one room to another, pretending they’re professional movers who are helping a family.
- Act out the new home. Give your child the chance to imagine what will happen after the move. This allows the young child to work out their feelings.
After plenty of pretend play, turn to real-life moving activities. Instead of hiring a sitter or sending the kids to grandma’s as you pack, include them in each step of the moving process. Let the kids pack their own boxes (with your help), label the boxes, and play the role of your assistant during the move.
Do you need professionals to help you with your next move? Contact Island Movers for more information.