Left Behind….Moving In A Child’s Mind
Moving for an adult can be stressful at best with all the planning, packing and change in schedules to accommodate potential buyers coming and going at all hours of the day. What one parent thought was helping their child turned out just the opposite of what she was trying to accomplish. The mother of a young child took great pains to pack up all the family’s belonging except her young son’s things in his bedroom. Her thought was that she would wait until the last minute to pack up his things so as not to cause him more mental anguish about leaving his friends and his home. The child, a few days before moving broke into tears at the dinner table. The mother could not figure out what was causing such an outburst seeing the meal she just served was his favorite! When the mother asked him what was wrong, he looked up at her with big crocodile tears and cried” Why don’t you want to take me with you when you move?” In shock, the mother asked “ What ever gave you the idea we were leaving you behind?” In which he replied “You packed everyone’s things but mine!”
The morale of this story is---Don’t ever assume your child understands what is going on if he is silent and seems content.
Here are some tips that will help your child adjust to what is happening when your house is getting ready to be put on the market:
Start with books or coloring books about moving. This is an easy way to get him involved mentally in the whole process. Let him use his imagination as to what kind of things he will be experiencing as you help him downsize his things, pack toys in boxes and how he might like the next bedroom to look.
Children can be a big help during the showing process of the home. Putting up a chart with special jobs each family member can do in order to keep the home show ready can make fond memories of the moving process. Help children to see that this really is a family project and you need every one to participate. Make it fun!
Understand That The New House May Frighten Him
Sometimes sleeping the first few nights might cause the child to awaken because he hears noises he has never heard in the last home. He may end up in your bedroom several times before he gets used to another bedroom filled with new colors, shadows and furniture. Walk him back to his bed and talk to him about his fears. Sometimes music will help him go back to sleep and certainly the same blankets, toys, stuffed animals and his favorite jimmies that you bought and told him were just for the new house can help significantly!
How about you? Has your child or grandchild experienced an emotional moving experience? How did you handle it?
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