Making Self Service Moving Easier for Children
Whether you’re moving a few blocks or thousands of miles, relocating is stressful for everyone even if you are using a self service moving company – especially children. Even if self moving, it is not uncommon to see stress-related behaviors such as aggression, loss of appetite, immaturity, depression and withdrawal. To make the transition easier for children, Smart Move offers the following advice.
- Think Positive. Having a positive attitude towards the self moving experience will help your child view your move as a positive and perhaps even exciting event. Children are quick to copy the emotions of people important to them. So stay positive!
- Get Them Involved With Your Self Service Moving Tasks. Allow your child to help with planning, and packing of the moving boxes. Also, ask for his/her opinion on some appropriate decisions. House hunting and walks around a new neighborhood also will help your child maintain a sense of control during this period of change.
- Ease Fear of the Unknown, Even Before the First Moving Boxes Are Packed. If a visit before the move is not possible, show your child photographs or videotapes of the new house. If possible, allow them to pick which rooms they want and decide how to decorate them. If your family is moving to a new city, look up interesting places you can plan to visit.
- Connect with Friends. Allow time for goodbyes in the old neighborhood, well before the first container moving truck arrives. Assure your child that you will help him/her stay in touch with old friends. Reinforce the notion that there will be many new friends in the new neighborhood.
- Reach Out to Your Community. After the self moving experience, as your children begin to make new friends, observe the strategies they use and make sure they are appropriate. If they are shy or need help joining neighborhood games or groups at school, provide some assistance. Modeling and role-playing also may help. Parents talking to new neighbors and making new friends will encourage children to do the same. Meeting informally with teachers, coaches and other adults and telling them about your children also may help reduce their initial anxiety.
Your attention, patience and understanding will ease your child’s stress during the self moving experience and make the transition easier for everyone in the family. Talk to your children as much as possible before, during and after your move. Communication is the key.