A big move can be traumatizing for children. They may feel that they weren’t part of the decision and therefore may not understand it. Moving isn’t easy on anyone and emotionally preparing your kids for a cross country move is another thing you should add to the list.
Creating a safe space for open discussions for your kids is imperative to their emotional and mental well-being concerning the move. It may be out of your hands due to a work transfer or finances, but leaving the door open for everyone and allowing the kids to voice their frustrations and anxiety over the move will help.
Give the kids an age-appropriate amount of information regarding the move. Answer whatever questions they have honestly and be sympathetic to their emotions, whether they’re positive or negative. Involving them in house hunting and virtually showing them around their new neighborhood are two fantastic ways of helping ease their worries.
Kids Six and Under
Moving with kids this young is easy. They don’t quite understand the move, and you can easily get them excited about it. Read books about moving with them and discuss in simple terms what’s about to happen. Let them know that you’re not throwing away their toys or clothing that’s going into boxes.
Children are very impressionable. They still may be open to a move with little to no reluctance, but it would be best if you still guided them through this transition. If you have the flexibility, figure out the best time to move with them. Some say during the summer is best because it won’t disrupt the school year. Others say during the school year because they’ll meet new students right away. If you’re homeschooling and moving during the school year, you can join a co-op.
Teenagers and Moving
If you’re moving with a teenager, then they’re most likely putting up a fight. Let them know their concerns are heard and respected. Try hard not to be dismissive of their feelings. Moving may mean they’ll be missing out on a long-awaited event such as a championship game or they might be leaving behind a romantic interest.
You can remove some of your stress by hiring a moving company. This will give you the time and clear-headedness you need to have challenging discussions about moving with your kids. Emotionally preparing your kids for a move is just the stepping stone for making a smooth transition.
After the move has happened, make sure to keep things such as family meals at the same time. This will provide the kids with a sense of familiarity. If it seems like your child or children are having a tough time with the move, a therapist is never a bad idea and can provide them with guidance.