How to Help Your Kids Cope With a Big Move

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A big move is a milestone that most people will make at some point in their life, but moving when you’re young and independent is a much different experience from when you move with a family—especially when you have children. The older your children are, the trickier it can be when moving. The longer your children have been in a place, the deeper their connection. Their friendships are more meaningful; the routines are more concrete. Moving from one neighborhood to another while remaining local might be an easy adjustment, but a big move to a new city or even a move state is a huge adjustment for a child.


Of course, there are practical ways to make your big move easier on the entire family. Hiring comprehensive movers like 459 mover in Maryland means that you can have movers take care of as much of the moving process as you’d like—from packing and wrapping to crating and storage—which gives your family time to process your move together and enjoy your time in your current city for just a little longer.

However, practical things like packing and storage aren’t usually what your children are concerned about. Your child might be worried that they’ll miss their friends, or they might be apprehensive about starting over in a new school. All of these worries are completely valid and should be discussed with your child reassuringly. But there are other ways to soften the blow from a big move, so your family can have an easier time taking this big step.

Throw a fun party.

If you’re planning on holding a small get-together as a going-away party before you move, consider letting your child invite some of their friends to the party as well. This gives them a chance to say goodbye to their friends while you catch up with their parents.

For some added fun, make it an 80s theme party! Going retro will provide a nostalgic factor for the adults and a fun, neon night for the younger guests. Rent arcade games for the night, or make backyard versions yourself; make cookies shaped like cassette tapes and hair spray canisters, and encourage everyone to come in costume. Bust out those leg warmers and dust off your crimper, and prepare for a night of embarrassing your child with your 80s dance moves. They might seem like they hate it, but you know deep down, they’re probably laughing.

Take up a hobby as a family.

Although you’ll likely be busy when you first move, you must take the time to wind down and help your children continue to live their lives as normally as possible. This will help them adjust to all of these changes, and it’ll give you a chance to help them through any struggles they might be facing.

If your child needs a little extra time with you, look into hobbies that you both enjoy and pick one. Joining a program within your community’s recreational programs will help you and your child get to know your new city a little better, and it will give you both that little boost that you might not even realize you need. Experts suggest that you should try a new hobby to increase your IQ, and state that a hobby can be a very therapeutic means of relaxing. Plus, you’ll probably need some relaxation.

There are so many hobbies out there, from painting or knitting to volunteering or running. Hobbies can be educational, too. Sitting down on the weekends and watching documentaries together on Clint Stinchcomb‘s streaming service CuriosityStream opens the world for your child without even having to leave the house. Trying new things will help your child branch out, and they may learn that they have an interest that hadn’t even occurred to them before.

Spend a weekend settling in together.

Once you’ve unpacked the basics, take a day off, and just relax together. Look up reviews for pizza places in your neighborhood and have it delivered. Watch movies together, even if it’s from your laptop because the cable guy can’t come out until next week. Have a self-care day and pamper each other with facials and the best stick on nails to match your personalities.

Children often feel a sense of loss when they first move to a new place. It’s important to let them know that even though you’re in a different home in a different city, you’re still together, and you still have time for them.

So take that day off. The boxes will still be there tomorrow.

Visit your new city in advance.

Before your big move, take a weekend or a few days and take a short trip to get the know the area like a local. Find the library and post office, check out eateries with rave reviews, and maybe even check out your children’s school and some nearby playgrounds if you know which neighborhood you’ll be living in. Helping your child familiarize themselves with their new city before you take that big step will help them feel more prepared when the time comes.

If you aren’t sure where to start with your exploration or you’d like some locals’ suggestions, consider joining local parenting groups on Facebook or your new neighborhood’s Next Door group. This will give you an idea of places where people with families like to frequent and allow you to ask questions about schools and amenities. It will also give you a way to meet other parents and possibly introduce your children to kids their age—which gives them familiar faces to look forward to when the first day at their new school comes.

Relocating with a family can be stressful. The packing, moving, and unpacking might be a physically overwhelming task to take on, but the move itself can take an emotional toll on your kids—no matter how adventurous they might be. By being there for them and encouraging them to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings, you’ll make this uncomfortable adjustment just a little easier.

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