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How to emotionally prepare kids for a big move

HomeWellnessHow to emotionally prepare kids for a big move

Relocation is difficult for everybody, both physically and emotionally. Leaving the old home, all the packing and moving challenges leave everybody overwhelmed. Even though they are ‘just kids’, your children are also experiencing different emotions when moving to another house. This can affect them quite seriously, since they are leaving their friends, school, their room, etc. Therefore,  you need to properly react and get them ready for this huge life event. That’s why we prepared a couple of tips on how to emotionally prepare kids for a big move – and get yourself ready, too. 

Start on time

To emotionally prepare kids for a big move, you need to start weeks or even months in advance. This will give them time to adjust and prepare for the life event ahead of you. And if you are also having another baby on the way, the process might be more terrifying. But don’t worry, relocating while expecting can be simple if you start on time. Even before you start packing, talk about what’s going to happen, and visualize it as much as possible. It’s difficult for kids to imagine these things by themselves, so try to help them by showing them pictures of your new home and neighborhood. Try showing them things they might like – their future room, the backyard, the space for the pet, etc. Introducing them to your new home slowly and on time, will make the ‘landing’ much easier and faster.

Don’t judge their reaction

It’s absolutely okay for your kids to have mixed feelings (even strong, negative ones) about the relocation. You need to assure them that it’s absolutely fine to feel that way and that they should share their emotions with you. They can experience: anger denial depression trying to change your decision to move, etc.

All of these are normal stages of accepting the big change, so you need to deal with it in the right way. Show understanding and help them realize they are going to love their new house. You can tell them that you’ve felt the same way, but changed your mind after you’ve got to know your new, amazing home. 

If possible, pick a convenient time to move

If you have the chance, make sure you move during a time that’s good for your kids. It will be much easier to move in the summer, rather than in the middle of the school year. It’s both perfect to say goodbye to their old friends properly, as well as have enough time to prepare for the new school and meet new neighbors and friends. 

The countdown is important

You need to know that kids can’t visualize how much time they have left before the move. That’s why if you want to emotionally prepare kids for a big move you need to help them get the idea of that time. Try to do a fun project of making a creative countdown board, or drawing a calendar, which will be both fun and effective for your kids to get ready for the move.

Get to know the new home before you move in

If it’s possible, make sure your kids visit the new home before the relocation. Let them go around and help you pick the room for themselves and imagine how it will look like. However, often this is not possible to do if you are moving long-distance. In that case, make a video tour or take pictures to show your children how amazing the new home is. Also, you can visit some cool places nearby, like top kids friendly and social destinations in your new neighborhood.

Let them make decisions

Kids love being part of adult life, so be sure to let them make some decisions regarding the new home. This can include picking their room, wall colors, going furniture shopping, etc. Help your kids fall in love with their new house before they even move in. 

Include them in moving preparations

Yes, packing with your children means it will last longer, but it can definitely help you get your kids emotionally ready for the big move. So be sure to include them in the decluttering process of their room – let them pick the items they don’t want anymore and the items they want to bring. Also, give them some tasks to do. They can pack their toys, books or clothes. This way they will feel included in the moving process which will help them accept the fact that your family is moving.

Adapt the new home to your kids

When moving into a brand new home, you now have the chance to adapt it to your kids as much as possible. Maybe now you can have that perfect backyard you’ve always dreamed of, a playroom, etc. This will make sure your kids love the new home even more. Also, don’t forget about the other rooms in your home – plan a child-friendly kitchen, a spacious bathroom, etc.

Use fun ‘tools’ to emotionally prepare kids for a big move

There are some fun techniques that can help you emotionally prepare kids for a big move. For example, you can find interesting children’s books that are about moving house. Also, you can play some games that tell you about the move. Let their favorite characters ‘build’ a new home and move in. Also, if your kids like cars and other means of transport describe the way movers will be transporting heavy furniture. Games and stories are a fun way to talk to kids about certain adult topics and events.

The moving day

After you managed to emotionally prepare kids for a big move, the time has come to actually make the big step and move. When it comes to the moving day, many parents are afraid of how it will go with all the kids running around and boxes being carried out. Many of the parents agree that it’s best for the kids not to be in the house while the move is happening. The reason is simple – it’s not fun for them at all, and it can be unsafe, too. So, it’s best to ask somebody to take care of your kids while movers carry the boxes out. This will provide you a hassle-free moving day, for sure! 

pearls of wisdom
Jenny P
Jenny P
Jenny P. is a blogger that has three kids. She enjoys writing about kids-related topics and discussing parenthood. She loves to paint and spend time outdoors as well.

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