Family Guide: Age Makes a Difference

Does age make a difference?

Absolutely, yes is the answer. In general, the younger the children the easier the move is on them.

For very young children the home is their entire world. This is really the family and household belongings in the house rather than the actual physical structure of the house. The change in routine may be the most stressful thing with little ones and you will need to reassure them that they are moving with you. Very young children often get upset as they believe they may be left behind so constant reassurance may be needed. Their focus will be on loss of routine and familiar items rather than on loss of friends.

Bring them with you to the new home in advance of actually moving in so they can get used to the new house and allow them to pick out their rooms if possible.

Here are some useful things you can do to help them become accustomed to the idea of the upcoming move:

  • Allow them to pack a box of their own even if you need to repack it later for safety reasons.

  • Ask them to pick the colors for their new room.

  • Play act the move with them so they can get an idea of what is about to happen. Toys can be used to help with this activity to make it a little clearer to them.

  • Reassure them that they will be moving with you. Little children can be very insecure and this can be seen in times of stress like moving.

For young school going children moving can be difficult. They will have made their friends at school and in the neighborhood and will find it tough to start all over again at a new location. There are some things you can do to help the situation. Check out the new neighborhood for children of their ages. Find out if the school has after-school activities and if there is any orientation available to new students. You can also find out if there is a house of worship in your neighborhood and this is a good place for the entire family to meet like minded people.

Here are some useful tips to help young school going children cope:
  • Keep them involved by assigning some specific duty to them related to the move. It could be to mind the family pet or water the lawn before you leave.

  • Get them to pack a bag of their own even if you need to repack for safety reasons at a later stage.

  • Reassure them that everything will work out well and keep up with that positive attitude. Remember, it's contagious!