You’re moving with your family. It’s exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. It’s especially emotional when you have children. There are ways to help make a move less stressful (and less scary) for young children. Here are a few tips to make moving with kids easier.
Time to process the move
Give your children time to process the move before it happens. It is sometimes easier to wait to have the hard conversation. But, when it comes to moving, you should let the kids know sooner rather than later. Combined with some additional tips below, this will give them a chance to absorb and process the change rather than be shocked by it.
Get excited about the new home
Find things for your children to be excited about. It can be as simple as a nice backyard or fun playroom to bigger things like the “big city” or “great outdoors”. Try to envision the new area through the eyes of your children. What will get them excited? Perhaps you’ll be closer to a park or pool. Maybe there is a great sports team or theaters. By taking your children’s perspective, you can find things to talk to them about to get them excited to live in the new area.
Be part of the move
Let them be part of the move planning. Children already feel a lack of control, and a move can make that feeling more acute. While planning the move, keep your children in the loop. Where appropriate, ask for their input. The move should not be something that is “happening to them,” it should be something the are apart of.
Get to know the new town
Help them get familiar with the new place before the move. It may not be possible to visit, but if you can, that’s a great step. If not, see about sharing videos or photos of the new house and the area around it. Another great tool is Google Maps. You can take a virtual drive around the new town and neighborhood on the computer. This will help them know what to expect and alleviate some of the uncertainty.
Have a place to be
When it is time to pack, be sure the kids are involved. They should pack their own “essentials box” (you can pack the real one). This is a box of items that they will want to open as soon as they arrive. Having their own box will give them a sense of control both before and right after the move.
Make time for the family
Unpacking can be a consuming process. Before you get to the broader household items, be sure the kids’ rooms are set up. This will help them settle in and give them a comfort zone during those times when you are focused on other parts of getting settled in.
Have an activity plan for the weeks following your move. It is tempting to spend all your time unpacking to get it done. But, your kids need to see where they live and get to know their new home. Make a plan and set aside time for the family to explore the new town, even if it means unpacking takes a little longer. The time you spend early on will help them be happier in the long term.
By communicating, taking your kid’s perspective, and setting aside time, you can help your children make the most of the move. Keep them in the loop and focused on the positive to make them feel good about their new home. We have moved many families over the decades. If you need help or are looking for a professional mover, give us a call.