Camelot Moving and Storage located in Santa Clarita, CA offers local and long-distance moves, commercial relocations, and local storage

Your Children’s Moving Needs

As you begin your journey to your new home, you may notice that not all of your family members are of the same mind regarding the move. Your teenager mopes while your preschooler eagerly helps pack. Your newborn needs constant consoling, and your fifth grader seems completely unaffected. Moving is particularly hard on children because, no matter the age, they are developing an independent self, a process which is disrupted during a relocation. As a parent, you can help decrease the severity of this disruption. Here are a few suggestions:

Though children of different ages will react differently to the moving process—and will therefore need different solutions—there are a few things that will help children of all ages. First and foremost, keep your children informed throughout the entire process. Let them know when you first decide to move and why. Include them while making plans. Help them to become familiar with their future home. In this way, you are allowing them plenty of time to process information and say their good-byes. These processes take much longer for children than for adults. Talk with your children; discuss openly positive and negative feelings that any of you may be having both before and after the move. In this way, you are setting an example as to how to deal with the anxiety of moving.

Your Children’s Moving NeedsMaintain routines and habits as much as possible. Let each child arrange and decorate his/her new room. Encourage your children to keep in touch with old friends with a new address book. Provide a special “Moving Day” bag that contains special security items as well as activities for each child. As soon as possible once you have arrived in your new home, take a break to sit and relax with your family. Reach out to your extended support group such as friends and family to help make this transition a little easier. Most importantly, be patient. You and your family will be going on an emotional rollercoaster over the next few months, possibly up to 16 months for a full adjustment.

Age-Specific Reminders and Suggestions
An infant’s only anxiety is going to be your anxiety. Infants are amazingly sensitive to parents’ emotions. Give your infant plenty of time and attention during this transition. Keep any security items such as a favorite blanket or doll handy. Do not pack them into boxes. Maintain a regular schedule of eating and napping.

Preschoolers love to be included in all the details. Their favorite question is “why?” Leave yourself plenty of time during packing so that your preschooler can be included in the process. Explain to her/him why and how you are packing things. Give your child an age-appropriate assignment. Any labeling system that involves stickers will be particularly inviting. To help your child understand the moving process, you may find it helpful to utilize dolls and toy trucks to act out what will take place on moving day. You can also take advantage of children’s books that deal with moving. On moving day, have a special bag or travel kit for your preschooler that will help her/him focus on the fun and positive aspects of the hectic day.

School-aged children enjoy making lists and completing their own personalized, special assignments. If possible before your move, plan a trip to your new neighborhood with your children to locate important places such as the closest park, their new school, recreation center, dance studio, arcade, etc. A diary or journal will help your children work out different emotions, and an address book will help them keep in touch with old friends. Once situated in your new neighborhood, visit the school and try to meet the teachers before school starts. Locate important places like the restrooms, library, and cafeteria. Don’t worry about academics at first. Let your children focus on developing friendships. You can help this process by encouraging them to bring friends home. You may want to take the initiative by inviting families to your new home. If your children participate in different organized activities such as sports, try to get involved with these organizations as soon as possible.

Your teenagers may be taking the news of moving the hardest. That is because they have had the most time to develop important relationships connected to your current home. Therefore, give your teenagers the news of moving as early as possible so they can deal with the emotions of saying good-bye. They will also need plenty of space. Make a special trip with your teenagers to visit their new school and neighborhood, and possibly explore employment opportunities. A few new clothes to go with the new neighborhood might also help with the transition. If they feel like talking, be sure to listen.

For children of any age, if unhealthy signs persist such as insomnia, poor appetite, or digestive problems, you may want to seek counseling for your child—especially if the move was accompanied by other stressful events such as divorce or a death in the family.

Written in partnership with Mary Ann Colf, LCSW, Santa Clarita’s 2010 Woman of the Year.


One Comment

  1. Lauren
    Posted April 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    It is important not to forget about your children’s feelings when moving. Thanks for sharing these great tips for including them in the big move!

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28040 Industry Drive, Valencia, CA, 91355
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