Many psychologists estimate that moving is one of the most stressful events to endure. As adults, we know this to be all too true since the average adult will move twelve times or more in their lifetime. However, for children, a long distance move should be filled with excitement and anticipation, not fear or frustration. If you are planning a long distance move in your near future – please read the following tips on helping your child prepare for, manage, and enjoy long distance relocation.
Get the Whole Family Involved in the Move
Involve your children in the process of moving early on. Once your house goes on the market, they will sense that a move is imminent. Have them help you pack up boxes of unused items to donate and cultivate their collections of toys. Keep the topic of moving open to discussion and answer their questions as well as ask them how they feel about the move. They will need time to mentally prepare for the transition. Once you know where you will be relocating to, consider making a notebook with images and maps of their new neighborhood. Pictures of the library, park, school, grocery store, or new home will help them begin to identify with their new hometown.
Contact your child’s school, physician, dentist, and any other health care provider and get up to date information and records that you will need to present in your new city. Getting this information now before the move will help you feel organized upon arrival. Research the schools and find out when your child can visit the school and what you need to enroll your child. Allow your children to say goodbye to friends and encourage them to find ways to keep in touch, whether it is via postcards and letters, or email and phone calls.
Saying Goodbye to Friends
Once moving day arrives, consider allowing your child to have one last playdate with a friend or an overnight stay with their grandparents. Not only is moving day stressful and slightly hectic, but it can also be dangerous to have children underfoot. Make sure your child has one bag of toys and beloved belongings that they can travel with for the next week or two. Having comfort items from their old home will keep them calm and content on the road while the moving truck is making its way from your old home to your new house. If you can make the long-distance move fun with a trip or remarkable vacation stop along the way, it will help ease the anxiety of moving somewhere new and allow the kids to feel as though they are on an extended holiday.
Setting Up the Bedrooms
As soon as your moving van arrives at the new house, make the children’s bedroom a priority. Helping your children get their room set up, their boxes unpacked, and their bed made will allow them to settle in quicker. While putting out their toys and placing décor in their room, let them be involved in making some decision so that they can take pride of their new bedroom in their new home. After a good night’s sleep, venture out with your children and let them lead the way in exploring. They might just want to walk around the block and explore every ant along the way, and that is okay. Because as they discover their surroundings, inch by inch, they will be making the first of many steps to calling this their new home.