Moving house and changing the environment is challenging. However, parents often underestimate the effect that moving has on their children. Except for babies, children of all ages experience different kinds of emotions when changing their homes. They can be overwhelmed by the feeling of sadness and even anger. That’s why parents need to be extra sensitive with the whole process. Mainly, they need to begin moving by choosing the best way to talk about the move. If you don’t know how to do it – we’ve got you covered. This guide will show you tips on how to tell kids you’re moving and how to deal with their reactions.
Don’t wait for too long
To deal with the kids’ emotions and plan the move well, you need to start early. Make sure you don’t wait for too long before telling kids you’re moving to a new house – especially if you’re moving abroad. If you notify your kids first, they will undoubtedly feel important and included in the process. That’s why you should talk as soon as you decide to relocate.
Have everyone’s attention
Moving is a big deal. That’s why you shouldn’t bring it up casually, but make sure everybody hears and understand what you’re saying. Pick a good moment – when everyone is in the house. Times after dinner or when the whole family is in the living room is the best way to go. Remove any distractions such as TV or video games and have their attention. Make this family meeting a comfortable, friendly occasion, so kids understand that it’s about something important, but also something great!
When talking about the move, it’s essential to stay positive. Discuss the basic details, and focus on all the advantages of this relocation. Talk about the new city and house, and point out all the great things about them. It will help your kids accept this change better and understand that you’re moving for a good reason.
Explain your decision
Your kids need to know that you’re sure about your decision and that the move is happening. Sometimes, due to the stress of moving and financial challenges, parents tend to feel insecure about the move, which your kids will undoubtedly notice. Make sure you’re sure of your decision and always look forward to future events. Be as enthusiastic as possible, so you transfer that positivity to them.
Help kids feel involved
You mustn’t set your kids aside during the moving process. Depending on their age, find some tasks they can help you with. They feel involved but also save you some time. Here’s what you can ask them to do to help you prepare for the big day:
- declutter their room and set aside the items they don’t want to bring to the new home;
- pack their books, toys, and even clothes;
- labelling the boxes you pack – get some colourful markers or stickers to make it more interesting;
- pack the essentials for the moving day – ask them to prepare toys or snacks they like for the moving day.
Asking them to be involved in the moving process will help your kids accept that you’re relocating much faster. The fear of the unknown is what makes them feel bad, so make sure you guide them through the process and help them understand what’s going on.
Talk about the new house
One way to tell kids you’re moving is to talk about the new house. If you haven’t picked a home yet, it can be great to involve the kids in the house-hunting process. On the other hand, if you already have a new house, talk about the things you can change and renovate. For example, ask your kids to map their room and see where the furniture will go. Also, let them decorate their room the way they like it – it will surely be a fun way to accept the new environment and feel better about the move.
Be ready for a Q&A session
As we have said, fear of the unknown is what makes kids confused and scared. It can also make them feel negative about the new house. That’s why you need to be open to all questions they might have about the move and the new place. Take your time to explain why you’re moving, guide them through the moving process, and get to know the new place together. You can also make a simple moving schedule and hang it in a visible place in your home – it will keep track of your moving process and give more information to your kids.
Find things to do
The move can get pretty hectic. Therefore, it’s a good idea to think of some ideas to occupy your kids during the travel. It will also make the process as easy as possible for kids if there is someone or something to keep them busy. Find out about the activities they can do to pass the time while you need to pack or deal with other moving tasks. Investing some effort into creating fun things kids can do leaves you more time and energy to deal with the move.
Respect their feelings
It’s okay for kids (and yourself) to feel sad that you’re leaving. After all, they are leaving the home that they grew up in, their school, and their friends. However, be respectful of their feelings and help them deal with the challenge. Provide solutions on how to stay in touch with old friends, let them have a goodbye party, etc. Even though they’re ‘just kids’, their feelings are real and can affect their attitude towards this new chapter in their life. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the best way to tell kids you’re moving and take care of their emotions during and after the moving day.
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