Moving day is coming soon and you’re swamped with things to do. You’re selling a house, you’re packing mountains of boxes, and in the middle of it all, your child is having a meltdown.
Moving isn’t easy for your kid, and some stress and upset is going to be a normal part of the process. Still, this move doesn’t have to be miserable for everybody. Here are four tips to help your child feel comfortable as you move to a new home.
Line Up Your Doctors and Therapists Now
Times of stress have a way of making our individual challenges more pronounced. Parents may notice that a child who hasn’t wet the bed in a year or overcame their preschool-era shyness is suddenly struggling again.
It’s hard to predict where these areas of difficulty might pop up, so keep your eyes open, listen to your kid’s needs, and have extra support ready where you can. Before you move, find well-regarded professionals for any health or academic challenges that your child faces. With the rising popularity of digital services, you might even be able to bring your online speech therapy or virtual tutor with you when you move.
Pictures of Friends, Homes, and More
Photo albums may seem archaic to your 21st century kid, but there’s power in having a physical version of their memories. Having a book of photos or a picture on the wall helps your child feel closer to the people and places that they miss.
If your child wants to preserve memories of friendships, ask them to help you pick out their favorite photos from fun outings or get-togethers. Maybe they’ll enjoy decorating the picture frames that will hold their chosen photos.
A house can be just as sorely missed as a person. Your old house may have strong associations with safety and familiarity. A family photo outside your previous home or even a professionally-made custom house portrait could be just what your little one needs to keep the memory alive.
Explore Your New Home Before You Move
Living somewhere completely unknown sounds scary. Help your kid get to know their new home ahead of time so that the change doesn’t feel so daunting. This could include a visit to their new school, a trip to a local ice cream parlor, or an afternoon exploring a nearby park. Now, when these spots become staples of their life, they won’t feel completely foreign.
If you’re making a big move and it’s just not possible to visit beforehand, you can get your child ready from afar. Read age-appropriate books set in your new area. Share pictures of your new house and some fun nearby locations. Maybe your kid will be interested in piloting Google Maps on a virtual game of neighborhood “I Spy.”
Time: The Secret Ingredient
Moving to a new place can be a huge stressor, whether you’re five or 45. It takes time to settle in, learn the rhythms of a different workplace or school, get to know new people, and discover your home’s coziest spots. A child who is upset or acting out after a move still needs love and support, but often their discomfort will ease with the natural passage of time.