Moving to a new home, whether it be in a new city or state can be very stressful especially for children. While adults can focus on the practical problems, children are more focused on the losses caused by the move. These loses range from a loss of control, friendships, and familiar habits. Keeping this in mind, we have put together a few suggestions to help alleviate some of the stress experienced by children in a move.
Communicate and be positive.
Prior to packing and moving, talk to your children about what is going to happen so they can anticipate some of the changes. How you communicate these big changes will also be important. You will want to pay extra attention to focusing on the positives such as – the move being an adventure and the opportunity to make new friends.
See the new place.
Whenever possible, take your children with you to visit the new home and see their new room(s). Although they don’t have any say in the purchase of the home, ask them what they think. Help them use their imagination to envision where their things will go. Allow them to pick out paint colors for their room or fun decorating items such as a new cartoon/animal/character themed sheet set, artwork, bean bag chair, etc.
Allow your children to get involved.
In order to help your children feel more in control, have them participate in some of the packing process. Make sure that they keep their extra-special items out as long as possible. Then, when it’s time to pack them, put them in a special box/bag that stays nearby and can be unpacked first.
Manage your own stress. Your children will look to you for cues. Taking care of yourself and limiting your own stress during the move will in turn keep your children less stressed.
Explore your new community.
Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, and the surrounding cities are very family friendly with a great sense of community. During the summer months, families can enjoy free outdoor concerts, movie nights, and farmer’s markets (all listed here in our recent blog post). Other attractions include our local libraries, the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, Heather Farm Park, the Lafayette Reservoir, and much more.
Plan a party.
If you’re staying local, consider planning a housewarming party. Not only will this give you a deadline to be unpacked, but it will also give your children something to look forward to.
Remember that everyone in the family will react to the move in their own way and there will likely be ups and downs. The good thing to remember is that children are resilient and will adapt after a few months (if not sooner). Enjoy your new home and welcome to the neighborhood! If you have any tips to share, leave them in the comment section below.