Helping your child through a long-distance move

The process of moving to a new home is always stressful, but children can feel especially disoriented and scared by the entire experience.  The trauma of leaving friends and family behind, as well as familiar places such as school, church, even local stores, can be overwhelming for a child and their ability to cope with those feelings of fear, loneliness and confusion is underdeveloped. Taking steps to involve the children in the entire moving process and keeping them in mind along the way can make moving long-distance a more positive experience.

Tips for moving with children

Communication is one of the best ways to help children with the moving process.  Start before the actual move and encourage them to speak freely about their feelings regarding the move, both positive and negative. It is important to reassure them that their feelings are good and important no matter what. Often kids are afraid to ask questions both big and small but encouraging them to do so by answering them openly, honestly and completely is the best route to take.

Another great way to help children cope when moving long-distance is to involve them in the process of moving. Giving them responsibilities and tasks to accomplish such as packing their own toys and items up will make them feel more confident about the move and assure them that their treasured toys and personal items will be safe for the journey and arrive unharmed. In the same vein, having the children pack their own travel bag will not only help them to feel better but reduce stress on the parents.  Having a bag or small box with things to do on the trip, such as books, crayons and paper, travel games, and perhaps a treasured stuffed animal or two will reduce stress on parents who are already wearied from the entire pre-move process. Plus, it provides the kids with special things to put into their new rooms the minute they arrive.

The new room is another place where getting children involved can make the settling-in process more exciting and comforting.  Moving into unfamiliar surrounding can be scary, especially for small children, but taking the time to let them put their things away in their new rooms will help them to acclimate more quickly.  Decorating is another area where they can be involved; let them help choose colors and themes for the new bedroom, along with accessories and even allowing them to help painting or otherwise decorating in the room.

When moving from a larger house to a smaller house or apartment, it may be necessary to put things into storage.  This can be a difficult process for anyone, but especially for children who identify so completely with their toys and treasured items.  This is another time where getting them involved in the process is important and can go a long way toward reassuring them that their things will be safe from harm even if away from them.  Many storage facilities have climate controls in their storage units so that extreme cold, heat and moisture are kept in-check; storage units Tucson would have controls to manage the excessive heat of Arizona, while storage units in Seattle or Tampa would be built to manage different types of humidity.

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