Whether you are moving from an Oakland home to a Berkeley home, or cross country, if you have children, there are extra issues that come into play beyond packing boxes and loading furniture into a moving van. Often these issues get buried under the stress and paperwork of buying one home and selling another.  It is truly a stressful time, and because so much is going on, young children are left out of the planning stages, and are asked to make some major life adjustments at a very confusing time in their life.  If you add to this, the anxiety that might have caused the move, such as a death, divorce or job loss, you realize that time needs to be taken to assure that the transition is as gentle to the children as possible. 

While much of this information needs to be keyed to the age of the children involved, here are some simple tips to destress the moving experience:

1. Keep all explanations about the move simple and positive. Stress the benefits that will come to them by having a new home.  Encourage them to ask lots of questions about things that make them uncomfortable, so you can resolve them together.

2. Take them by the new home often, so they can become comfortable with it.  If possible, let them move a few possessions into their rooms early, so they can find familiar, perhaps favorite, things waiting for them when they move in.   

3. If they are old enough, encourage them to help design the color and style of their new room.  If possible, get new pillows, bedspreads, and even pictures that are created around one of their favorite Disney or television characters that they really enjoy. Being greeted by "old friends" on their first day in the new home will be a welcome treat. 

4. As appropriate to their age, let them participate in the planning and packing regarding their special toys and possessions.  This way they know that these things will be treated safely, and not get lost during the transition from one home to another.  Perhaps they can decorate their moving boxes in a fun way, so they can know just where to find them when things are being unpacked. 

5. For little ones, find a babysitter for the big moving day.  There will be a lot going on, and it will not be a safe enviornment for them.  Ideally, a loving family member will step up to care for them.  Perhaps together they could plan a fun event for the day.

In summary, plan your move with your children in mind.  It is a big day for them, too!



Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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