A growing family often means needing a new space. So, after four years in our little apartment, it’s time to move on. We're leaving behind all of the little quirks and charms of this place that we’ve made our own. Moving has been an adjustment for the whole family, but for no one more than our toddler, who’s lived here his whole life. I’ve tried to be sensitive to how this major change impacts him (on top of having a brand new little brother!) and to soften the blow in three small ways.
- Help him feel included. To brace him for all of the coming change, we involved him throughout the process. Though it might have been easier to leave our son with a friend while we visited prospective new homes, we carted him along and asked him for his input. We talked about moving for a good while in advance, and answered any questions he had as they arose. The scariness of a giant change is only increased by the feeling that you have no say in how it impacts you.
- Help him feel excited. Once we found a new place to live, we tried to make it as fun for him as possible. We visited the new neighborhood, and mapped our way to things we knew he’d enjoy. At our old home, we had worn the paths to parks, libraries and cafes. We looked for those same things near our new home, and brought him to explore. We also included him in decorating his room. We asked for his input in the placement of furniture, and encouraged him to choose or make things he wanted to hang on his walls, making this new space his own.
- Help him feel grounded. More than anything, I didn’t want my son to feel uprooted. While I’m usually more flexible and loose in our scheduling, I made sure to stick to a more rigid schedule the first few weeks in our new place - mirroring habits and special times that we had in the old place. I wanted him to be sure that we were just leaving behind an apartment, not all of the parts of our life that he’d grown to love. I also wanted to make sure he had a sense of structure during a time of so much change.
About Liz Moorhead
Liz Moorhead is a high school teacher turned work-from-home mom. An illustrator and writer, she blogs for a top wedding site in between walks to the park with her toddler son – all just outside of Philadelphia.