It’s easy for children to feel nervous and powerless when the family decides to move, especially if they don’t feel like they have much input in the decision. Since 40% of moves are motivated by jobs and 18% are due to military or government responsibilities, the child may feel especially removed from the process.
The average person in the U.S. moves about 11.7 times in their life, so chances are your kids will have to deal with moving eventually. But there are many ways to make your kids feel prepared for the day your local moving company shows up.
Involve your kids in the home-buying process. Have them come up with a wishlist of qualities they want in a new home. Do they want a bigger backyard? A playroom? More storage space for their toys? Take them with you on your house hunt so they feel like they’re a part of the process. This will also allow them to see the many good things they’d get from a move.
You can also encourage your children to map out their new rooms. Take them out to stores to pick out paint swatches and turn their room design into a fun crafting project. Another good crafting project is a memory book that your child can fill with pictures of the friends and places they are leaving behind.
It’s also a good idea to give your children their own packing boxes that they can decorate and use to pack their favorite things. This box can go with them in the car instead of to storage containers or with your local movers. This will reduce some of the anxiety of losing treasured possessions in transit.
If you do need to put items in storage containers, bring your child to see the storage containers so they know where their items will be staying.
Throw a goodbye party for your kids and their friends to say goodbye to the house and each other. A simple gathering or a potluck is usually sufficient. It may also be good for your kids to visit all their favorite places and people in the area one last time before they move.
The trick is to make moving a fun experience for your child where they feel in control and understand the advantages of moving to a new home. There may still be some tears when the professional moving company shows up, but at least your children will feel prepared.