Moving with kids. The very thought can be overwhelming!
Children are often disturbed by changes in their home environment and schedule and are reluctant to leave their friends and familiar environment to move to a new place.
Shoot…. we aren’t even talking about moving right now but my boys worry we might when they see another friend move to another town.
Let’s talk about some tips to making moving kids easier for them as well as for you.
Moving with Kids! Tip Make Moving Easier for Everyone
It is important for you to set aside time to help your kids cope with change and understand that moving isn’t the terrible event they think it is… even though change can sometimes seem scary.
Move during the school year.
Most parents plan to move during holidays when the school term has ended.
But this can actually make it harder for the kids.
Think about it, it is easier to adjust and cope when you are busy and have made a few friends.
Plus, when you join during the school year, your kids get the “new kid” treatment and excitement from fellow classmates and the teacher.
When you show up at the beginning of term, the teacher doesn’t know any different and often doesn’t go that extra step to help with the transition.
So, if you move during school term the kids will start at a new school and have plenty of interaction with teachers and classmates.
They will also start following a schedule and have no time to brood about the changes in their lives.
Explain Why You’re Moving
I know moving can be a burden with umpteen things to do, but make time to sit down with the kids and explain why the need to move and what they can look forward to.
By instilling a sense of understanding, you’re also creating a feeling of security for them because the move won’t seem so random.
Give Your Kids Control
Kids can feel their world is not in their control. Assign a few responsibilities like maintaining a list for moving, caring for pets, having a going away treat for their friends and so on to give them the ability to control some of their environment.
Also, involve the kids in house hunting (depending on their ages) and finding out stuff about your new city or town.
Knowledge can feel very powerful for a kid who feels like they don’t have the ability to control the situation.
Plan goodbye activities
Plan activities with them a “say goodbye” to their old home, school or neighborhood.
And don’t forget about a final friend activity! Help them cope with emotions, uncertainties, and more by asking a favorite aunt or grandparent over to spend time with them, showing them pictures of the new home, allowing them to keep in touch with old friends by quickly hooking up the Internet connection when you arrive into your new home.
My kids are FaceTime veterans at this point!
Keep Favorites On Hand
Let each child choose something special to take them in their luggage.
Maybe a soft toy, an old blanket, a much loved book, or collection of stamps or coins, or baseball cards.
Even if your kids are older, having something reassuring can make a huge difference.
Welcome the new home
Plan a family group night in the new home. Spread out sleeping bags in the large living room.
If it’s winter, light a fire, watch movies together, roast marshmallows, sing songs and exchange hugs.
Being with each other will help settle fluttering stomachs and doubts.
Get your home move-in ready as possible
As soon as you get to your new home, set up the children’s room first, so they can start establishing their own space.
And if you’re moving into a bigger house or don’t have furniture, make it instantly more homey for everyone with furniture on-demand.
There’s nothing worse than an empty home.
A furniture rental store is a convenient solution to quickly transform a house into a home.
Particularly if you’re moving overseas or not bringing your furniture with you.
Make Yourself Available after the move
Reassure your kids that you will always be there for them, until they settle in; consider taking leave from work if you can or ask a grandparent to stay with them for a while.
Consider aspects of child care and a day care center.
If you have small children find out whether your new work place encourages mothers to bring children with them into work.
Make it an adventure
Make the new environment a discovery.
Explore the neighborhood together, take them on a tour of the school, local library or rec center.
Retrace the route they will take each day. Introduce yourself and the kids to neighbors and be sure to ask neighboring kids over to your new home so that the kids can make new friends.
Be a vigilant parent.
And don’t mistake “bad behavior” with the natural nervousness of moving.
Children are not “little adults” and live in a world quite different from ours so help them adapt with love, understanding, and patience.