Moving can be a stressful and busy time. For children who are often too young to understand what's going on, it can be much worse.
We have a few tips that can help keep children calm and prepare them for the big move.
Be honest with your children and tell them your plans as soon as they've been decided. Explain, in a way they will understand, why you're moving and what they can expect. Be prepared to answer their questions with as much information as you can.
Kids look to their parents for cues, so if you're stressed and upset over the move, they will be too. Make sure to express all the good parts of moving and what children can look forward to. If the new apartment is in the same city, drive by and show them their new neighbourhood. Find a park close by and let them have some fun there.
Allow your children to grieve over the home they knew and loved. Kids need a sense of familiarity, so keep up with normal dinner routines and schedules. If your family always has game night on Fridays, make sure you maintain that during and after the move.
Give your children a little control. Letting them help decide how to arrange furniture and belongings in the new apartment can ease their adjustment. Focus on their rooms first and, if they're old enough, let them help you unpack and decorate. When children are brought into the decision-making process, it can help them to feel excited about the situation.
Provide plenty of opportunities for your kids to meet new friends. Even if they won't be giving up their current friends, making friends in a new neighbourhood is important. Meeting the neighbours in the building can help both parents and children find new friends. Community centres, parks, and the library are also helpful places to meet new people.