How Do I Move With Younger Children?
Are you worried about the potential challenges of having to move with younger children? Children have different concerns about moving at different ages. For preschoolers and younger children (up to age 9) family is the center of their lives. They will be curious about moving, and may have concerns, such as being left behind and getting lost. Paying attention to and understanding those concerns will make the transition as easy as possible for children.
Four Things To Tell Younger Children About A Move
- Explain where you are moving and why: Be short and to the point when trying to explain the move to younger children. Use words they can understand such as, “Daddy got a promotion at work and we’re moving to where his new office will be.” Or, “Since your grandfather got sick, grandma needs our help. We’re moving to be closer to them.” Or, “We need a bigger house and we’ve found a place that has everything we all need.”
- Highlight the benefits of moving that your kids can understand: For example, if you say that you’re moving to another town because the schools are better, that may not have much meaning to younger children. However, pointing out that the new school will have more activities that your child will enjoy — such as more sports programs if your child likes sports, or a band if your child plays an instrument — are reasons that your kids can comprehend and look forward to.
- Use maps and pictures to illustrate the move, and make it more concrete: If your children can understand maps, have one that shows the new community where you are moving to. Together, locate where you will be living and places of interest around your new residence. If you are moving far away, have a map that shows where you are now and where you’re moving to. Help your child trace the distance — and even plot a route that you might take when moving from here to there. If possible, have photographs of the community and your new home.
- Reassure children that their lives won’t change dramatically after the move. Point out things that you know will be basically the same in their new home and community, such as having a backyard to play in and going to school. Explain that pets and favorite toys or belongings will go with them. If there are lessons or other activities your kids enjoy now, assure them that you’ll find new instructors or similar programs for them in your new community.