Telling toddlers about big transitions can be tricky. Today, I'm answering a question that is often relevant for many families. How to tell your toddler about an upcoming move.
"After a lot of back and forth, I’m wondering how and when you’d advise sharing news that we are moving with our toddler? He has no clue and he is so attached to his little community here. Even though we think he will love our new place and be close to family, he doesn't handle change well!"
Toddlers don’t have a great sense of time, and talking about something too far in advance may cause unnecessary stress. On the other hand, not talking about something at all and surprising toddlers may also be destabilizing.
Here are a few tips to handle this major transition:
Make sure your timing for revealing the news just precedes any noticeable packing.
Explain the news clearly and simply.
Let your child know what will be the same and what will change in your new home. For example, "You will have the same comforter, but a new bed."
Take pictures before dismantling bedroom and family rooms, so that you can go back and “visit” later.
Allow your child to express any uncomfortable feelings, and avoid trying to convince them not to be upset because of all the great things that are going to happen. This is an opportunity to teach them that they can have mixed feelings - where you are both curious/excited and nervous/sad.
Make as few changes as possible. The fact that you are moving inherently means there will be lots of transitions, so try and avoid the ones that you can actually control.
Best of luck in the exciting adventure!