Moving to a new place is stressful enough by itself because you have to pay attention to a lot of things at once. Adding kids to the equation? Then it may seem like a complete nightmare! Parents have to keep in mind how their children will handle this move, and try to make it as easy as possible for them. In order to help parents who are struggling with this, we have collected a few tips for moving with kids.
Include your kids in the moving process
Whether it’s moving to a new house in the same city or moving to a different state or a country, no move is harmless for the children. Some may take the change pretty well, but others may struggle with adapting to a new environment, and it may affect them more, no matter how old they are. To prevent this, include them in the move, talk about it as a family. In this discussion, you can cover anything from basics to the details, such as the color of their new room, and make moving with kids a much easier process.
Organize a family meeting
If your children are old enough to understand what’s awaiting them, sit them down and discuss the moving process in detail. Tell them, as soon as possible, where you’re moving and what’s the overall plan. Kids are sneaky and they may overhear the adults talking about moving, and might feel excluded from the very beginning. Give them an opportunity to ask questions about the move, however silly and seemingly unimportant. This step is important when moving with kids, because it will prepare them for the challenges that lay ahead, and the parents can solve any problems which might arise.
Get your kids to help with packing
Involving the little ones in the packing process may seem hectic, but it will help them feel like they are in control, especially if you’re moving to a completely new area. Younger kids can help by putting away their toys in boxes. Some moving companies might even bring additional boxes for the little ones to play in or draw on, while the parents are packing. Make sure that their chores are safe, but at the same time fun and rewarding. Some other tasks might be more appropriate with older kids, such as labeling the boxes, dusting the empty rooms or even bringing water and snacks for the movers which you have found!
Research the new area before moving with kids
This may seem like common sense, but when you are moving with kids, it’s a whole new story. It is very likely that your kids will change schools, and this can be a very big burden on them. Coping with the “new kid” problem is never fun, and the parents should be there to support them every step of the way. Talk to the teachers beforehand, and, if possible, give your kids a tour of the school. If you find the time, walk with them through the neighborhood as well. In this way, they could see where they will move. They may meet some of the kids next door, depending on the area to which you move.
Choose the neighborhoods in good school districts, which have plenty of areas where children could play or participate in after-school activities. See if there are any libraries, movie theaters or community pools nearby. These might not be crucial when you’re picking a new place but are definitely a plus.
Change the area, but keep the routine
When you were younger, moving away from your parents’ home meant creating new routines and habits, and finally breaking free of all the things that might have been bugging you. When you’re moving with kids, it is crucial that you stick to previously set routines. Some of them include:
- Bedtime routines: reading their favorite stories before bed, tucking them in or checking for monsters under their new beds.
- Mealtimes: try to eat at the same time as before, preferably together. Use this time to bond with your kids and discuss problems that might have occurred after the move.
- The school runs: if it is possible, have the same parent drive/pick up kids from school. This will give them a sense of normalcy and stability.
- Activities: even if the kids change the environment, parents should try to include them in similar activities. Some of these may include a girl/boy scout group, or their favorite sport. Help them choose where they want to go and meet their new teammates and coaches.
Organize a moving sale
As we all know it, kids love any opportunity to feel important and included in anything adults do. Organizing a yard or a garage sale might be a fun activity to do with your kids before the move. Firstly, it will be a chance for you (and them!) to pick through their belongings and see what they want to keep and what to store away in a storage unit. Secondly, they could help you to put a price tag on it and participate in the sale. In this way, they will learn how to deal with money.
Finally, let them know that the money collected in the sale will go towards something for the new place. This could be anything from a TV, a new console or maybe a new pet. Whatever it is, it will make them feel more excited about the move!
Most importantly – stay positive!
Kids learn fast and are largely affected by their parents’ behavior and feelings. So, your own attitude towards the move and the new place can impact your little ones as well. If they see that you are stressed, sad or angry about anything related to the move, they might feel the same way. Focus on the positive sides of the moving process, whatever they may be.
Show them how they can find new friends in the nearby park, or have fun decorating their rooms. Walk your dog and explore the neighborhood together, and find cool little corners and spots nearby. Above all, show everyone how moving with kids can be easy and fun!