Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Moving Your Family: 5 Secrets to Keeping Kids Happy during the Move

Moving to a new location is never fun for anyone. However, moving across town or across the nation can be especially challenging for children that cannot comprehend what is happening. When young children become stressed and show it, parents often become stressed themselves. However, five secrets can keep children happy during the moving process. They include the following:
Moving with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are tips to make it easier.

1. Explain What Is Happening

Many parents attempt to hide the move from the young children and wait until the last moment to explain. Even though this may seem to make sense, it is often unsuccessful. Instead of dropping the information of the huge change at the last moment, introduce the idea slowly. Help them understand what is involved in the move, and help them feel comfortable with the idea before it actually occurs.

2. Retell the Story

Your child likely has a short attention span and will not remember most of what is explained involving the moving event. Instead of attempting to explain the entire process, provide information in small chunks and stay prepared to provide child-friendly answers when asked. If the child begins feeling insecure when realizing what is happening, offer comfort to soothe their worries.

3. Familiarize Them with the New Area

If possible, take your children to the new home and the new area. Show them parks where they can play, the backyard of your home, and what room will be theirs. Help them feel at ease in the new area if possible. If your children are familiar with the area and the home, the big move won’t seem as scary to them as it could without any introduction to the new home.

4. Involve Them in the Process

Wait to pack their special items in the last few days before the move. Packing their special items too soon might make it hard for your children to watch their toys and special items being packed up. When the time arrives, involve them in the process by marking the boxes with bright colors. This is especially important if you rent storage space at your new destination, ensuring them that all brightly colored boxes are to be brought into the new home.

5. Validate Their Negative Feelings

Parents need to recognize that their children can often experience fear and anxiety, not much different from their own. They may not comprehend where they will sleep, eat, or participate in daily activities once they arrive at their new home. Validate their negative feelings and try to find something familiar about the new area, whether that’s family that lives nearby or friends they could make.

Moving can be an exciting experience for the whole family, but it can also be a scary time for children. Help them feel at ease with these five tips.

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