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Help Your Child Cope with Moving

Updated: May 7, 2022

Moving to a new home is a BIG change for everyone. Young children have a harder time coping with constant big changes in their lives, moving can be considered a traumatic experience. Tabletop knows a lot about big moves. Both Kate and Jessica are military spouses who have had to move their kids around a lot. We understand how hard these changes can be. Here are a few things you can try at home to help your child with the transition.

Before You Move

  1. Talk to your child about what is about to happen.

  2. Create a calendar and mark down the days before you move.

  3. Give them positive jobs they can do to help prepare for the move, like spending extra time with friends and looking up things to do in the new town you’re moving to.

  4. When your child is sad, validate their feelings.

  5. Read “Buster Brown Moves From Town to Town” with your child.

Here’s why we highly recommend reading the book, “Buster Brown Moves from Town to Town” with your child: “Buster Brown” is a military pet who has lived in six different homes throughout his life. He understands how scary moving can be. As you read through the book, your child will see Buster feeling better and better about moving to a new home, because it’s not ALL bad. There are exciting things about moving too.

After You Move

It’s normal to see some behavior regression when your child experiences a big change. This could present itself by your child wetting themselves or the bed when they weren’t doing that before. You may see sudden intense outbursts of emotions, where they’re crying so loud and so much you can’t seem to get through to them. If you’re seeing these behaviors, be patient. Have them clean themselves up after their accidents. And comforter them as if they were a young child if they’re having those big emotional outbursts.

When you child is have those big feelings at an older age, in their mind they’ve regressed to a young part of the brain. This is completely normal. And trying to talk to them during these moments is impossible, you’re not going to get through to them. So, hold them, rock them, and wait for them to calm down. Once they’re feeling better, you can talk to them about what happened.

You may see them become more sensitive to little things, and this is normal too. They’re going through something big, and so are you. Give everyone a break and time to adjust. Try these fun activities to make the new home a more positive experience.

  1. Take your child to the store to get decorations for their new room.

  2. Let your child pick where they want their things in their new room.

  3. Look up fun activities nearby to try, allow your child to pick from options you’re okay with, so they get a say in what you’re all going to go do as a family.

  4. Create a new routine or resume the old routine, then keep it consistent

  5. Avoid more big changes until after you’re child has adjusted to the new home.

  6. Revisit the Buster Brown Book any time (live author reading below)


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