Taking Baby Steps During A Big Move

Moving can be a stressful and life-altering time for a family, especially one with small children. While you might be eager to get things packed, hauled, and settled in to your new home, your little one might need some additional TLC for a smooth and tear-free transition. Since children two to five years old are creatures of habit a significant uprooting, especially one that will take them to a new school or even a new state, is like breaking the world’s biggest habit. At least in their eyes. Using these simple strategies may help with the transition as your munchkins say good-bye to the old house.

As you’re preparing to move, amidst the boxes and packing tape, take some time to ‘tour’ the inside and outside of your home. As you’re strolling down memory lane, encourage the kids to point out their favorite things about the house. Maybe spaghetti sauce stain on the kitchen rug will remind them of the impromptu food fight you had last summer. Or what about that corner of carpet behind the couch that the bunny chewed upon Thanksgiving morning. Bring a camera with you to take pictures of, well EVERYTHING!  It will come in handy later if and when the kids miss the old house. You can even make a good-bye scrapbook with pictures of the kids in different places around the house. Then use the scrapbook to find similarities between the old and new house as you settle in after the move. Oh look, this new house has holly bushes along the front porch too!

Kids have a tendency to feel anxiety over ‘unfinished’ projects so to avoid it, set aside a special time for your kids to say goodbye. Whether it’s hosting a neighborhood pot luck or scheduling a special playdate with their best friends, allowing your kids to take a defined moment to say goodbye will help them accept the big change. Once these good-byes have been made, create a fun story for the future of friends. Maybe encourage your kids by assuring them that their neighborhood friends will make sure the new owner takes good care of their favorite tire swing, just like they will take care of the new house that another family once loved.

Lastly, never forget at least one momento from the old house. Whether it’s a spare key, a patch of their bedroom wallpaper (both of which you can frame in a general location of the new house), or my personal favorite, a favorite plant or flower from the yard (to plant at the new house!), keeping a little piece of the old house will allow your little ones to transition gently into a new space.



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