Moving is hard on everyone, but especially hard on kids. I’ve talked about our minor behavior issues before and I’ve even gone to see a child behavioral specialist for fear that something was seriously wrong.
But her analysis? There was no stability. No constant in his life.
When was dad coming home this time?
Another new school?
Or lack there of?
I can’t blame myself. I can’t blame my husband. The military lifestyle hasn’t been easy for anyone but the difference between adults and kids? We know how to express ourselves. If I need help, I know who to turn to and how to fix it. For a kid, it’s not that easy. They may feel sad, angry, frustrated, the list goes on and on. And they don’t know what those feelings are or why they feel a certain way.
My oldest has always been one to get frustrated easily but that’s also been a little heightened over the past few months. It’s not just been the move but the months leading up to the move. And I wish I had the magic answer on how to make it easier for my kids but I know that every kid is different and I’m doing the best I can.
I’ve already started to put some of these into place but I’ve got a ways to go over the next few weeks.
Here are 6 ways to help kids cope during a move:
Set their rooms up first. Whether it’s a basement, bedrooms, playrooms, etc…. give them a space they can feel comfortable in and somewhere they can occupy themselves while you’re getting everything together.
Get on a routine. This can look different for everyone so find what works best for your family. For us, it’s going to be dinner, warm bath, books, and bed. We’ve never been able to start a routine and stick to it but with my oldest starting Kindergarten, it needs to happen. For everyone’s sanity.
More one on one time. This was one of the things the behavioral specialist recommended because it gives your child your undivided attention. Which is especially crucial when there’s chaos.
Stay calm. Moving is stressful, there’s no doubt about that. Unpacking sucks, moving heavy equipment isn’t fun, and being on hold with utility companies is uber annoying. It’s draining and I’ll admit, I raise my voice a lot when the kids are misbehaving. I hate it. I hate it even more when I hear my husband yell or when my kids start to yell back. There is no need for yelling and we all need to work on this a little more. We’re the example and need to set a good one.
Explore the city together. Make it fun! What does your new city have to offer?! I grew up in the area but I want my kids to see all of the fun things there are to do in the area. I want them to feel at home and be excited about all of the changes we’ve been going through.
Get a babysitter. This has been huge for us. Having someone there to play with the kids while we get the house together makes a world of a difference. They aren’t bugging us or begging for attention and they’re having fun. Less stress for everyone!
I’m hopeful this is our last move if not forever, than for a very long time. It’s exciting to start a new chapter but it’s definitely not rainbows and butterflies. But hopefully, these tips will make it a little easier for you and your kids 🙂
What tips do you have for helping kids cope during a move?