Moving is one of the most stressful endeavors you will encounter in your lifetime. Packing, planning, and overall discombobulation can end in tears of frustration for the entire family. The emotional toll of substantial change can manifest in physical ailments as well. Some individuals knee-deep in the moving process may even experience chest pain, headaches, and a compromised immune system.
Not only are tremendous transitions hard on you as the homeowner/working professional eligible for a cross-country promotion, but these adventures into the unknown can also have detrimental impacts on your children.
The process of settling into a new home, student body, and day-to-day routine may trigger depression or anxiety in impressionable children. Studies have shown that kids that hop from family home to family home during their childhood are three times more likely to encounter mental illness. During crucial social developmental stages, specifically those over five years old, uprooting a child from their hometown and placing miles of distance between your little one and their closest friends can provoke perpetual uncertainty in their lives.
Moving doesn’t have to be the day of reckoning for your family. Starting over in a new place has the potential to be an exhilarating adventure for you and your kids. That said, give this seemingly earth-shattering transition a positive spin in your kids’ minds.
With this guidebook at your ready access, anxious parents can mitigate moving-related anguish to ensure their little ones adjust to their new home with ease.
Control the chaos
Managing every intricate detail involved in a move can become overwhelming in a hurry. To introduce a sense of peace to this otherwise tumultuous time, develop a thorough plan at least two weeks before the move, and execute each task one at a time.
Parents should also draft a list of essential furniture, food, and supplies. A moving kit consisting of clothes, toiletries, chargers, and other must-haves will save you from manically tearing through boxes later.
Finally, homeowners will need to devise a plan of action and brainstorm how to transport bulky items to their new home. For instance, TVs, appliances, and vehicles require specific care and caution during a move. One way to safely transfer your car, especially during a cross-country move, is to ship it. To keep moving day stress to a minimum, parents should research a reputable auto transportation provider, like Guardian Auto Transport, long before moving day.
Prepare your children
Stepping into an unfamiliar house is particularly hard for kids who crave routine. If possible, bring your child along for the home buying process. That way, they’ll know what to expect (and look forward to) when it comes time to box-up their toy trucks and stuffed animals.
During this process, explore the neighborhood with your little one and track down all the tasty local restaurants in the area. Getting to know their new surroundings will cushion the blow and encourage them to feel excited about their newfound adventure.
Maintain a schedule
Acclimating to a new home will take time for your family, but sticking to their pre-existing routines will move the process along. Continue regular family meals or pizza dates to introduce consistency into your kids’ lives. Younger children long for some semblance of consistency in their day-to-day lives, so do your part to maintain bedtime rituals, even amidst unpacking and deep cleaning tasks.
Let your kids make decisions
Uprooting our elementary schooler or junior high student can make them feel like their life is spiraling out of control. With this whirlwind of emotions in mind, give your child control wherever possible. Allow them to decorate their room and choose what color to paint the walls. Granting your little one these freedoms will give your child a sense of ownership over their space and reassure them their voice is heard.
Validate their feelings
Anger and sorrow are expected reactions to a big move. It may take months for your children to adjust to their new home and acclimate to these unfamiliar living spaces. That said, feelings of angst are bound to make an appearance. Let your child know their emotions are valid, and tell them you’ve experienced many of the same feelings. Though grieving is an arduous process, intervention may be necessary if it starts to interfere with everyday tasks.
Moving your family to a new home is stressful for all parties involved. While breakdown over a stubborn box may feel warranted, your child might be developing symptoms of depression or anxiety, which should take precedence in parents’ minds.
Fortunately, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Taking the time to prepare your kid for what’s to come will shorten their readjustment period and transform your move into an exciting new expedition.