Helping Your Child Adjust to a Move

Moving presents different challenges for parents and children. Here are some ways you can help your child deal with the transition whether they’re a toddler or teen.

1. How does moving affect children?

The effects of stress may manifest themselves more obviously in older children, but young ones are also affected by a move. Even though they may not have as much invested in the previous community or living space, moving interrupts their routines and places them in an unfamiliar setting. It may disrupt their sleep schedules or cause negative emotional responses. Each child’s response is different. Their reaction will be affected by their age, previous experiences, and other factors. They may exhibit this stress in crankiness, an inability to sleep regularly, or mood swings.

2. Younger children

There are many ways you can ease the transition for your little one. For example, introduce the idea of moving early on to give them as much time to adjust as possible. You can also read books with them about moving. Explain what the move will entail. How far away is your new home? Will you have to find a new school or church? You can take them to visit the new community. Introduce them to the things they might find exciting or interesting and emphasize the positives about the move. Perhaps most importantly, your child will benefit from a regular routine. Amidst the craziness of moving, they will need something stable. So, follow scheduled times for meals and sleep.

3. Older children

Moving can often be more difficult for older children because they may be more invested in the community and their close friendships. Help them adjust by involving them in the house-hunting process. Throw a going-away party to provide closure as they transition. When you have arrived at your new house, it may be helpful to set up your child’s room first, so they have their own space. If they are switching schools, visit the new school with your child and take a tour. Try to meet some of their teachers. Explain their new routine and focus on the positives of their new school!

Although there’s no denying that moving is difficult, your support and help will make the process easier for your child.

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