Research shows that moving is one of the most stressful events in one’s life. That stress is not inclusive of just the adults managing the move – the anxiety, anticipation and worry also affect children as well.
According to the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau, 37.1 million people in the U.S. moved, which was a .6 percent increase over 2008. The majority of people cited housing-related reasons for initiating the move. Forty-five percent said they wanted to own a home or live in a better neighborhood, while 26.3 percent cited family concerns as the reason for moving.
Whether children are moving away from a familiar neighborhood or are being relocated due to family issues, it’s important to understand and anticipate how the move may impact them.
As a moving company, who moves over 1,000 families each day, we believe these tips will help you better support your children before, during and after moving day.
1. Don’t Have Tunnel Vision: Many times as adults we’re so focused on the destination – a new job, a better neighborhood, a bigger house – that we forget about the transition. It’s extremely important that you think through how this change will impact your children’s day-to-day routine. Think about the 2-3 weeks before and after the move, make sure you communicate how the move will work, what they should expect on moving day and any responsibilities they’ll have pre- and post move. This will eliminate surprises and will allow them to express any concerns they have about the move.
2. The More the Merrier: The old saying rings true when moving with children. The more people involved in the moving process, the merrier. Get creative and incorporate your children into each step. Include them in visiting your new home; show them the new town and places that might interest them. Play a dinner game that includes trivia about your new town or have a moving box decorating party a couple weeks before your move date.
3. Clue into Closure: Understand the importance of closure. Organize a get together with your children’s friends so that they can exchange e-mail/mailing addresses and say their ‘goodbyes’.
4. Get the Involved: Once the moving company truck has pulled away, it’s time to start phase two of the transition. One of the best things you can do is get your children involved with community activities early in the process. Be sensitive to the fact that they might not want to be left alone during the first soccer or cheerleading practice, so be ready to sit-the-bench for a few games. Slowly your children will find others with similar interests and will start making friends.
Moving alone is tough, but moving with children can be extremely trying and emotional for everyone involved. If you’re open with your communication, creative with the move process, conscious of closure and flexible with getting your children assimilated into a new neighborhood – moving will go a lot smoother for your whole family.
From: Jess Powell, Allied Van Lines Moving Company