Easing the Transition of Moving for Young Children

woman with childMoving can be a traumatic experience for everybody, but it can be especially difficult for young children.

Pre-school children thrive in stable environments. When everything else in their world is constant, it’s easier for them to learn and grow at the fantastic rate that occurs during the pre-school years.

Yet the time most young couples have young children is also when they are most likely to move — due to new career opportunities, the desire for a home with more room, and other reasons.

Making the Move Easier

There are certain things you can do to make your move easier for children younger than five years old:

  • Give Plenty of Advanced Notice — Let your child know as soon as possible that your family is moving to a new home. This will give them plenty of time to adjust to the idea before the physical move occurs.
  • Involve Children in Packing — Turn your move to a new home into an adventure by allowing young children to help with the preparations for the move, including the packing. Give them small boxes they can use to pack away their personal belongings, such as their toys, their clothes, and their books. Even if you have to re-pack these boxes later when they aren’t around, it will make the child feel as if he or she is participating in the process.
  • Visit Your New Home Before Moving In — If possible, take a tour of your new home in the weeks or days prior to your move. If your new home is under construction, take your young child on a tour of the construction site and help them to imagine what their new home will look like.

Children need time to adjust to the idea of living in a new space. But by taking steps to ease the transition, you can minimize the trauma of the experience.