As you plan a move, your children may feel worried. They may not know what will happen or if they can make new friends. Or maybe they’re worried about not liking their new house. Moving can be stressful for anyone, but young children who have never moved before may not know how to cope.
If your children are anxious about moving, one way to ease their fears is to show them examples of moves that turned out for the best. The following movies can help your children understand what happens during a move, what might be difficult, and how moving can help them make new friends.
Are your children unsure about what moving will be like? “Toy Story” is about two toys that belong to a boy named Andy, who is getting ready to move. Though this movie is mostly about making friends, getting over jealousy, and learning to cooperate, it does portray a positive moving experience.
In the background, we see Andy packing up, saying goodbye to his house, driving off with his family ahead of the moving van, and happily playing in his new home. This film can help your children understand what moving might entail and that it doesn’t need to be scary.
“The Sound of Music”
This classic musical teaches kids (and adults) many lessons about courage and love. However, it begins with a move—Maria has to move from the abbey to the home of the von Trapp family. If your children worry if their new classmates will like them, this movie may help them learn what to do.
Maria is courageous, even when she is scared or making mistakes, which can teach children to go forward boldly. She is also initially disliked by those around her, but by being herself she wins them over. Your children can learn that even if things are hard when they move, circumstances can improve and they can have fun along the way.
“My Neighbor Totoro”
If your children feel they won’t like their new house, this movie could help them get past their fears. This delightful Japanese animated film is about two girls who move to a strange new home in the countryside. They meet and befriend magical creatures in the house and in the forest surrounding it. When the girls have a family crisis, these creatures even help them out.
Your children may think that they will not like their new house. “My Neighbor Totoro” can help them understand that strange and wonderful things can be found in unexpected places, and they may be grateful for the move.
“The Karate Kid”
The 1984 version of this film is considered a classic. If your children think other kids at their new school won’t like them, this film can teach them how to approach the situation.
Daniel’s move to Los Angeles is difficult—he immediately attracts the attention of a group of bullies. However, with the help of Mr. Miyagi, he manages to defend himself and gain their respect. Your kids can take heart at the tale of an underdog who comes out on top.
Are your children worried about making new friends? This movie shows how much new friends can help a person.
The main character, Scotty Smalls, moves and has to make new friends. By making friends with a neighborhood baseball team, he learns how to play the sport and joins them on their many adventures. These new friends and his participation in baseball shape the rest of his life—he grows up to be a sports announcer. Your kids may realize after watching “The Sandlot” that a move might bring them new friends, new hobbies, and new adventures.
Moving can be a difficult experience, and children may not know how to deal with the fearful, sad, or angry emotions they experience during it. You may not even be sure how to help them as their parent. “Inside Out” shows that moving can be hard and that you should be honest about how you feel.
As Riley moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, she tries to be happy, ignoring her underlying sadness at losing her old home and friends. Ignoring her sadness ultimately leads her to make poor decisions and try to run away. But only when she talks about her feelings with her parents does she begin to find happiness again. This movie can help children understand and discuss their feelings with you.
If your children are worried about moving, take the time to help them understand what will happen and how to move forward. These six movies can help you teach them what they need to learn and show them that moving can be a positive experience.
In addition, getting your children involved in moving itself can keep them busy and interested. For example, have them help you pack up the moving truck and decide where things go in your new home. Good luck on your move!