METCALF MOVING BLOG
Making the Transition: How To Help Kids Acclimate
Making the transition to a new house is a stressful affair for all involved. Between unpacking and reorienting, it can be easy for kids to become overwhelmed with the changes taking place. But there are ways you can help your kids acclimate to the new home after a move.
Here are some tips to help your kids prepare for the big move and then settle in once all the boxes are unpacked.
Prepare them for Making the Transition
How you prepare for the move will have a significant impact on how readily your kids adapt to the new place.
Calmly breaking the news at least a month in advance is ideal. It’ll give your kids enough time to process but not so much time to dwell and worry.
It’s also a good idea to not just focus on what will be changing. Explain that the house’s contents will be making the move with you, including the child’s bedroom furniture and toys. Also, emphasize that your family will remain together.
Acknowledge They’re Upset
Making the transition to a new house can be immensely stressful for everyone but especially kids with no frame of reference for the changes taking place.
Their worry, irritation, and potential tantrums are understandable. Treating them as such and validating your child’s feelings will go a long way to helping them acclimatize to their new circumstances.
Sympathising with their pain doesn’t mean wallowing in a family-wide pity-party.
Your kids will look to you for guidance. One of the best things you can do to reassure them that making the transition to a new house isn’t the end of the world is staying positive yourself.
Keeping to family routines and rituals is a great way to ground your kids during an otherwise tumultuous time. Family meals, game nights, and bedtimes should all stay unchanged after a move.
It’s also a good idea to be mindful of smaller changes. Something as little as different bedding or new pajamas can be enough to unsettle a child after a recent move.
Give Them Back Some Control
Often kids will have no say in the move itself. This can be jarring, particularly for kids who like their control.
Consider getting your kids involved in the decorating decisions in the new house. Something as little as “approving” a new rug, or a bedroom wall color will help give them back a sense of stability and control.
Temporary regressions are entirely natural and normal for young kids dealing with a stressful situation. So if your child backslides on their potty training or sleep schedule, don’t panic. Once they settle into the new place, these issues should naturally resolve themselves.
That said, if the regression behaviors persist beyond a few months, it can’t hurt to consult your pediatrician.
You’ll Get Through This
Kids can take a move hard, but by being prepared, validating their feelings, and staying positive, your family will eventually settle into the new place unscathed.
Boxes packed? Check out how to hire a moving company to get the best value for your money.