Family Moves – Tips for Parents and Kids

little girl helping to pack up her roomMoving can be stressful on anyone. This is especially true for a family with kids. Whether you are picking up and moving across town or moving across the country, it can be a very stressful situation. However, there are a variety of different things you can do to the make the move less stressful on you and your family.

When moving, it is important that you realize how traumatic it can be on your kids. Your current home may be the only home they have ever known. To suddenly move to a strange house can be very hard. Chances are, they have developed a routine and are very comfortable with their current surroundings. Therefore, it is important you realize how hard it will be for them to become accustomed to a new home and new friends.

One of the first things you need to do is be honest with your child. Let them know as soon as possible that you are planning to move. This will give them time to prepare for the big move. If at all possible, involve them in the process as much as possible. Allow them to go along on the house hunt and give their opinion.

Another thing you can do is let them set up their room how they like. If they are comfortable with the décor and pick it out themselves, they will feel more like it is their own room. Some kids may choose to have their new room decorated exactly like their old one. However, some may choose to have an entire new décor for their room.
Consider throwing a moving away party. This will give the kids once last opportunity to say good-bye to the friends they have made and become close with. Invite all of your child’s friends from the neighborhood or kids they go to school with it. Try to make it the happiest possible time. This will not only be helpful for your child, but the children they are leaving behind. The move can just as traumatic for your child’s friends.

If your child has an especially close friend, propose they make each other a keepsake gift, something they can remember each other by. One example is a friendship bracelet. Each child can make a bracelet and then exchange them before the big move. 

Another thing that can make the transition a bit easier is to make your child a scrapbook. In the scrapbook, include pictures of their close friends. As well, you can include pictures of some of their favorite hangout spots. You can also have their friends write letters and include them in the scrapbook. This will help your child when he or she is feeling lonely. They can look back on the book and remember the good times they had.

Try to make it possible for your child to keep in touch with his or her old friends. Whether this be through email or phone calls, your child will love keeping in touch with friends they have made. Allow your child to exchange recent photos. Kids love the opportunity to share what they have been up to and what better way to do this, than through pictures.

If you are moving close enough, make arrangements for one of their close friends to come and see them over one of the school breaks. This will give your child the opportunity to see their friend, as well as share their new surroundings with them. Then, on the next break from school or long weekend, make arrangements for your child to go back and see their old friends.

Once you have settled into your new place, encourage your child to get involved in local activities. They can become involved in a church youth group or local sports team. This will give your child the opportunity to make new friends. If you have younger kids, try to find a local mom’s group. Then, you can invite kids over for a play date. Not only will this give your child the opportunity to make new friends, it will also give you the opportunity to make a few new friends.

Moving can be a very traumatic event for all involved. However, there are a variety of different steps you can take to decrease the stress and anxiety often associated with the move. Be honest with your child and do everything possible to make the move as easy as possible. Before you know it, you and your child will be in your new home, with new friends, having the best time.

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