4 Things to Consider When Moving with School-Aged Children
Published on 2021-10-26
Moving can be a very exciting moment for the whole family. You are going to a new place, meeting new people and having new experiences. However, even with all the upsides of a move, it can still be a very difficult time for children. Especially those that have started to go to school.
Before you start your move, you need to consider what effect it will have on the little ones. To help you prepare them, we will share with you some tips and information regarding moving with children.
What Effect Does Moving Have on Children?
Before we go over the tips for moving with children, we need to sit down and reflect on how the move affects them. Moves can be emotionally charged for anyone. You are leaving everything you know behind, sometimes even friends and family. For a kid, where their current place might be the only one they’ve known, it can be confusing and frustrating to deal with a move.
Moving can be extremely stressful and making changes to the social structure of a kid during a time when they are developing their own social network can impact their self-esteem, and give them a sense of defeat.
Being the new kid at school doesn’t help either, as children sometimes get bullied just because they come from a different place.
As such, it is incredibly important to be mindful of what effect your move is having on your child and to try and ease the process for them.
4 Things to Consider When Moving with School-Aged Children
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when you are planning a move with school-aged children. Before and during the move, remember the following:
1. Avoid Moving in the Middle of the School Year
A move is a chaotic enough process as it is. A move in the middle of the school year? That will feel like madness for a kid. Not only are they leaving their old school behind, but they would also be starting in the new one in the middle of the process and that can cause them much confusion.
Try to move during the summer to give them time to process things, acclimate, and possibly make friends before the school period starts.
2. Don’t Take Things Personal
Emotions will run high during a move. Your kid might say things to you they don’t really mean, as they lash out emotionally. Let them process their feelings. Listen to them. Make sure they feel heard. It’s important to find ways in which you can empathize with them. Show them you are all in this together.
3. Let Them Say Goodbye
Everybody needs closure. That’s no less true for children. Think together about ways to say goodbye to friends, neighbors, and family. Even saying goodbye to their room or your house can help them feel better or more at peace with everything going on.
4. Set up Ways for Them to Keep in Touch
Nowadays moving is much less traumatic for kids as technology allows them to keep in touch with friends no matter where they go. Set up an email address for them so they have a way to communicate with the people they are leaving behind.
You could also help them schedule and set up video calls to stay in contact. Planning a trip back home can be excellent for them as well.
3 Ways to Help Your Children with a Move
Once you’ve understood the effects a move could have on a child, the next step is to take measures to help make the whole process simpler for them. Here are 3 things you can do to make a move more bearable:
1. Make a Book of Memories or a Box of Treasures
A fun way to help children cope with a move is to make a scrapbook of their memories of their current home. Include phone numbers of friends and email addresses so they can keep in touch.
You could also have them make a box with the most important things to them and let them carry it so they feel like they have some measure of control.
2. Throw a Party
Having a farewell party with friends, neighbors, and family can be a way to give your child closure over this chapter of their life before they start a new one.
3. Unpack Right Away
Keeping your belongings inside boxes for a long time can make the children feel like they are in limbo, especially if there’s something they want that is still packed away. You should unpack as soon as it is possible.
Moving with Toddlers and Preschoolers
Moving with the youngest of the family can be tricky. They can have a hard time understanding some concepts. But it doesn’t mean they don’t feel when things are changing. Here’s how you can help them deal with a move.
Talk with them
Don’t be afraid to talk with your children about the move. Kids are far more attentive than we give them credit for. They will notice sooner or later that something is going on. It will be much better if you sit down with them and try to explain what is happening in a way that they can understand. With children, analogies often help. Another good move is highlighting the perks that may come with moving to a new house, like a bigger yard or their own room.
Let them help
Kids love feeling useful. Giving them simple tasks, like packing their toys or organizing something, can go a long way towards making them feel more comfortable with a moving project.
Help Them Visualize Things
Little children have an easier time understanding things when they are shown to them. Show them the new place, either via pictures, a video, or an actual visit. It will help them familiarize themselves with it before the move.
Moving with Teenagers
Teenagers can be very unpredictable when it comes to a move. On one side, they are far more understanding of the whole process. But on the other, they might have a more difficult time uprooting their life, changing schools, and leaving behind friends. Your teenage years are rife with emotional turmoil and throwing a move on top of it will often be at least a little chaotic.
Consider the following when moving with a teen:
Keep Your Cool
You might feel frustrated with the way your teen reacts to the move, but try not to let it get to you. Sometimes they just need a little bit of space to process things. Try to put yourself in their position. Make sure they feel listened to.
Try Not to Feel Guilty
It can be difficult to ask your kids to leave what they know behind and start over elsewhere. But you need to stay level-headed. Teens can sense when you are uncertain, and that could make them feel more uncertain as well.
Get Them Involved in the Move
A way to help them is to let them feel like they have some control over the process. Letting them choose their room, bringing them along to see the new place and asking for their opinion, and giving them control over the items they can bring along can make things easier on them.
Ensure They Can Keep in Touch with Their Friends
Phones, emails, ways to meet up or video call, anything you can to help your kid keep in touch with their friends will help reduce the feeling of loneliness that can come with a move.
How to Help Children Cope with Multiple Moves
Dealing with the first move can be tough. Moving 2, 3, or 4 times? It might be easier on an adult, but for children being uprooted from everything they know will always be tough. Of course, your mileage may vary. Here’s how you can help make multiple moves easier on children:
We often tiptoe around the truth with children. Dealing with issues that arise with tact is smart but you shouldn’t feel like hiding information from them. Approach them honestly. Remind them of what went well the last time. Also, avoid promising things you can’t be certain of.
Find Ways to Give Them Stability
Moving often can make children feel like life is too chaotic. Preserving any of their routines can help make the move less alienating. Visits to family, camping trips, or enrollment in sports or activities that they were already a part of will go a long way to making things easier.
Give Them Time
This is probably one of the most important things to remember. Kids can feel like they have no control over their lives and that is scary for them. Moving often means leaving behind their friends and schools. They need time to process this. Even grieve for the loss.
We hope after sharing this information and giving you these tips, you will have an easier time helping your kids with the move. Check out our other blogs for more tips on moving.
And if you need help with your next move, don’t hesitate to contact Three Movers. We will ensure your move is a painless process for both you and your little ones.