A year defined by a pandemic and working from home hasn’t slowed the pace of moving. A study by the Pew Research Study reports that one-in-five U.S. adults say they or someone they know has moved due to the pandemic.
While moving can be a welcome change for parents, it can also be tough on kids. Children have a need for a “safe space.” Moving can challenge that, breaking familiar routines and putting children outside of their comfort zone.
So, what can parents do to make moving a little easier on their kids?
1. Show and tell.
Make the move more appealing with a pre-moving day walkthrough. If that’s not possible, show them photos of their new home and talk up the “cool” features of your new community. Before moving day, emphasize the positive changes (close to an amazing park) and important things that will stay the same (bed, dresser, or toys). Children’s books like “The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day” can help younger kids embrace moving.
2. When in doubt, paint!
Involving the kids in décor decisions will help them feel more comfortable in their new home. Could their new bedroom or the play area use a fresh coat of paint? Ask them what color they want. Older kids can even pitch in with painting or assembling furniture. Be sure to set up their room on day one.
Involving the kids in décor decisions will help them feel more comfortable in their new home.
3. Stay in touch with friends.
If inviting friends in isn’t an option, get together in the backyard or book a video call. Online games like checkers and Heads Up! can be great conversation starters. Keep things going with a show-and-tell walkthrough of the new digs.
4. Keep a consistent schedule.
As part of your schedule, try limiting screen time, planning nutritious meals and getting plenty of exercise and rest. Resist the urge to set up your whole home all at once. Instead, try to take things one step at a time. Your sense of calm will be infectious.
5. Busy is best.
Unstructured play is good for kids. But there is such a thing as too much free time, and this is especially true after moving. Help them stay on track during the pandemic by finding an outdoor activity program in your area.
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