That is exactly what Amelia did to her mom as Laurie and Richard broke the news to their four year old daughter. Amelia, like most children her age, is very literal minded. She heard the first part of the sentence her dad said, “Hey sweetie, your mom and I have been talking and we are going to be going to a different house soon…” Little Amelia automatically interpreted that as her parents moving without her.
Kids are fragile, vulnerable, compassionate, and very susceptible to change, no matter if they are moving at the age of 1 year or 25 years old. The fact is though, change occurs in our lives daily, and we want our kids to be able to adapt and overcome change not panic and run away from it. With this being said, we want to watch your kids move in a healthy and exciting way! We know there is heartache, stress, and hurt feelings with moving, they have their whole lives changing, but we want them to think of the benefits too, sometimes it takes kids a long time to see the benefits, but one day they will wake up ready to go to their new school, ready to play with their new friends, or look forward to living so close to grandpa and grandma now.
So the Move is definitely happening. How can I make the transition easier and more exciting for my children?
- Talk to them! Even if they are as young as Amelia. Seeing boxes filled up with their things leaving their house is frightening! Communication about every step of the process will make them more comfortable and help them understand what is happening better.
- Let them see! Take them to your new house when it is empty. Allow them to explain their dream bedroom to you and talk about what can be done to make it theirs. It will bring excitement and ownership.
- Have a timeline or calendar put up in your house to make it something to look forward to. A countdown, having a list of what will be done when, before, and during the Move will contain less surprises for the kids and help you plan everything out so it will not be as stressful.
- Let them help! Decide on a charity, or family in need to donate some of their unused toys to. Create a joyous time of downsizing all of their toys and clothing in order to help someone else. Allow them to label, tape, load the boxes up into an organized fashion for the movers or into the vehicles. If you have a few kids, put the oldest on babysitting duty, to give them a helpful responsibility to them. Let them know you are counting on them so you can be productive.
- If you hire a moving company, introduce the movers to your kids. Let your kids be hospitable to them, bringing them drinks or a snack. This will eliminate the fear of the movers from taking their things away from them and show your kids that they want to help them, mommy, and daddy.
- Before you pack everything up, make sure their most treasured belongings and favorite clothing are easily accessible (I hope this doesn’t need explanation or a reason why.)
I hope all of this helps! I am sure there will be more helpful tips in the future. Feel free to comment and share your tips, I look forward to learning from your experiences good and bad!
This blog post was co-authored by Christy Bonner.
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