Even under the simplest of conditions, moving can still be a hassle. But once you add kids into the equation, the process can become even more demanding and stressful. Transitioning to a new home is a big change, for children and adults. You may be leaving behind memories, family, and friends, and for children this change can feel even more jarring. It’s important to be aware of how your kids are feeling and create a plan and strategy to make the best transition possible. We’ve compiled some tips to help you navigate the moving process when kids are involved.
Involve Them in the Process
Depending on the age of your children, involving them in the process can help provide them with a better sense of control. By including them some of the planning and work, it can help them feel as if they are part of the team rather than just along for the ride. Older kids can help with packing and unpacking, organizing, assembling new furniture, etc. For younger children (at least two years and older), they may be able to help with things like wiping down surfaces, sweeping, and putting their toys into a box. As long as you are giving them tasks that are age-appropriate, don’t be afraid to get creative. Moving can be a great opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility, teamwork, and embracing change. Kids will also appreciate being filled in about the details of the move, which can help to ease their concerns and anxieties. If you can, show them pictures of your new home, their new school, local parks, and shops and attractions nearby.
Get Them Excited
Sometimes kids may be comfortable with the idea of moving when it is just an idea, but will begin to feel differently when the process begins. Talk to them about the importance of positive change, and why you are making the move in the first place. Your kids above all will appreciate your honesty and reassured when you reinforce the positive changes they can expect. You can get them excited for the move by talking about their new room and spaces in the house you think they will enjoy; such as a pool outside, a game/play room, or more yard space to have fun in. If your children are younger, try reading them books about moving to get them more comfortable with the idea. If you have a child with special needs that has particular difficulty with transitioning, it may be a good idea to visit your new home first to get your child familiar with the new area they will be living in before the change is permanent.
Stay Connected & Involved
Depending on how far away your new home is, you can try to keep your children connected with friends and family that you would regularly see by scheduling times to meet up after you do move. This will hopefully help prevent them from feeling homesick and missing their friends. If you are moving farther away, consider setting up video calls with friends and family to stay in touch and connected. Also, take some time to look into your new location to see if there are events or activities your kids can participate in to encourage making new friends when you get there.
Keep the Sanity
Remember that everything does not need to be done all at once. Take a breather when things get too stressful to bare. Make it a priority to schedule time in to relax and unwind, even if that means you are sitting on some boxes eating pizza or other take-out food. It’s important to accept that stress is a normal part of moving. Also realize that others in your household may also be feeling those same pressures, so be patient and extra considerate with your family during this period. It’s easy during this time to neglect your own health and needs, too. So be sure everyone is getting enough sleep and nutrition to stay healthy, physically and mentally, throughout the rest of the move.
Moving can feel like an overwhelming ordeal, especially when children are involved. But with enough planning, time, and understanding, moving can be a welcome change for your whole family.