Moving can be stressful for adults who are juggling a long list of things that need to be accomplished including packing, arranging for the move, gathering records and paperwork, and possibly prepping for a new job. There are a million-and-one small details that need to be handled before the big moving day arrives.
Now imagine, for a moment, being a young child whose entire world revolves around their friends and the routine that they have established in school. Moving for the school aged child is a major transition and can be extremely tough both emotionally and socially. As parents, there are some things you can do to help smooth the transition and make the event less stressful.
Set the Tone
Parents often set the tone for whatever is going on in the family. A move is no different, regardless of whether you are buying a home in your same neighborhood, or moving clear across the country.
Keep things honest, but optimistic. Every change brings an impact, both positive and negative. Be sure to discuss what is particularly worrisome for your child, but also what they may be looking forward to such as a larger room, better yard, closer to family, or vicinity to parks and entertainment/activities. It’s ok to acknowledge the inherent difficulties of switching schools while still remaining positive about the move in general.
Give Your Child Some Control
Some stress in life comes from a feeling like you can not control the things around you. Give your child some control by providing opportunities to make some choices. For example, if there’s an option of which school to attend in your new neighborhood, let your child visit each of them and make the decision themselves. If there’s only one school choice, give them control in smaller ways, such as letting them pick out their new backpack and school supplies.
At your new home, let your child choose a wall color to paint their room, or decorations that are new to start the school year with a fresh new look. If your child is old enough to do some of the packing or unpacking on their own, let them do that to give them control of what goes where in the new house.
Set Up Activities
Moving often means that sport teams and after school activities are left behind, along with friendships that have been built. In order to get your child back into the swing of things in your new home, check with their new school about what activities are available that will present opportunities for new friendships to blossom.
Talk to your city or town about the local sports programs that take place throughout the year. The recreation department is always a good place to start as they will have contact names and numbers as well as a list of activities that would be appropriate for your child.
As you begin to plan your move, talk to our team at Mastodon Moving about how we can help make your transition to a new home go smoothly for all the members of your family. Check out our Facebook page for more tips and ideas.