You’ve found a new job or your dream house in a new city, and now it’s time to move. Relocation is stressful for adults, but even more so for kids. If not careful, the little ones can easily absorb the stress and uncertainty, making them more averse to the upcoming change. As a parent, you must make extra effort to keep your children comforted during this sensitive time of change.
This article will explore tips you can use to make the relocation seamless for the children.
Moving with kids: Tips for before the move
● Let them know early: The earlier, the better. This will give the children ample time to mentally prepare for leaving their old home behind. You will also have enough time for addressing all their concerns.
● Give them some details: Color in the future with enough details, such as what the new house looks like, what your life would be like in the new place. Also, tell them what you’ll do the day after the move, such as taking them out for ice cream, to the beach, or zoo.
● Attend to their feelings: Moving may seem sad or scary to them. They will be leaving their old friends behind, and the thought of going to an unknown place might imbue fear within them. Try to iron out those emotions using movies, cartoons, songs, etc. Also, let them know they’d still be able to stay in contact with their old friends through phone and social media.
● Use the kid-free time to your advantage: Whether they’re napping or in school, use those hours to get the bulk of sorting and packing done. You will likely get more done with them not around. Use this time to get rid of junk, too, especially if it’s something your kid is slightly attached to but will not use.
● Give them a say: To make them feel part of the moving process, let them make a few decisions like what colored stickers to use on a box or how they’d want to decorate their new room.
Moving with kids: Tips for during the move
● Stay calm and positive: Planning everything ahead will make being calm on the moving day possible. If you’re anxious, your kids will pick up your energy quickly. If there’s some uncertainty, be honest about them with your children, especially if they’re older.
● Let them help: Older kids can help with wrapping their belongings, while younger children can help bring bottled water and snacks to the movers. They can also keep busy by decorating their moving boxes.
● Help them say goodbye: Bring all their friends and people they care about for a farewell party. This will give them a fun opportunity to say goodbye to each person. Encourage hugs if they’re comfortable with it.
● Take comfort objects with you: There may be a blanket or stuffed toy your child loves to hold to feel safe. Keep those items with you in the car. It will help them relax during the move.
● Take activities to keep them occupied: Coloring books, crossword puzzles, storybooks are just a few things your children can use to keep themselves entertained during the long transit.
Moving with kids: Tips for after the move
● Don’t worry about unpacking right away: Your child will likely be exhausted after the move. Let them rest up and take them out to explore the playgrounds, restaurants, pizza joints, and hiking trails. Get them familiar with the local scene.
● Invite the neighbors over: If your neighbors have children around the same age as yours, ask them over for pizza night and video games. The children will have the opportunity to bond, and so will the parents.
● Unpack your child’s room first: Get them settled in first. Unpacking their clothes, toys, and bedding will get them around familiar items and help assuage the drastic change in their minds. They’ll feel right at home faster.
● Set up outdoor activities: Get a trampoline, swing set, zipline, or an inflatable pool that your children can use to keep themselves busy and entertained.
● Show them around and set up rules: If you have school-aged children, it’s essential to set up ground rules like curfew, places in the neighborhood they aren’t allowed to go, biking safety rules, etc.
With extra effort and time, you can transform the ‘scary’ move into something exciting that your children look forward to. The change will not seem huge if you understand their feelings, and make efforts to get them involved in the process.