Consider the stress you have experienced during preparing for and undergoing a move. What your child is feeling is different. Imagine what your child is thinking from their perspective. Depending on their age, the most important things could include: parents, nap time, food, tree house, bike, cell phone, friends or computer.
Although small children may not know any better, it is important to let them know as soon as possible so they can begin the adaptation transition with the rest of the family. Some parents and counselors also recommend that if you let the children help pack their own items (with the help of you, of course) it will help children feel more a part of the move.
Telling your child also helps them to comprehend what is actually happening. If you have children that are older, it might be more difficult to answer the “friends” or “school” objection, but they will be more helpful on the end of packing. The sooner you let them know, the sooner they will be able to begin the grieving and acceptance process.
Final thoughts: If you will be hauling some of your own items, be sure to safely pack them so that if you have passengers-especially small children, that the items will not injure them if they shift or move during transit; especially if a quick stop occurs. If you know that a blanket, game or teddy bear helps to comfort your child, be sure to keep those handy during the move. Of course snacks and something to drink will come in handy as well.