Relocation time is a stressful experience for everyone in your family — including your children. Depending on their age, leaving their friends and familiar surroundings makes for a confusing time. Even the move itself, especially if you are relocating to a different part of the country or overseas, offers its own set of hassles concerning the younger members of your family.
Keeping a positive demeanor before, during, and after the move definitely helps your children’s overall mood. What follows are some ideas for taking the stress out of moving with kids. Read on to ensure your family’s relocation goes as smoothly as possible.
Inform your Children as Early as Possible
Don’t delay giving the news about an upcoming move to your children. Call a family meeting to go over the details as early as possible. Relay your own stories about the times you’ve moved early in your life. If your kids are school-aged, this extra time lets them tell their friends and blow off some steam before it’s time to pack and get ready for moving day.
Let your Kids contribute to the Choice of a New Home
Give everyone in your family the opportunity to offer input on your new home. If your kids are Internet savvy, the plethora of websites and apps dedicated to real estate listings means everybody can search on their own. Hold a session where everyone gets to vote on their favorite choices, and have pizza or other food delivered to make it a fun event.
This makes your kids feel like they are an important part of the process and you feel their opinion matters.
Encourage them to Research their New City
Once the choice of a new house gets made, encourage everyone to research your new city. Most schools provide websites with teacher listings, so maybe they are able to find who will be teaching them next year. The locations of the nearest parks, libraries, videogame stores, and more are all easily found on the Internet. These efforts may even get your kids excited for the move.
Hold a Going Away Party and Invite their Friends
Children who are in school would probably appreciate a going away party for their friends to say their goodbyes. Be sure to do it before any serious packing happens so your home entertainment system and videogames can add to the fun. Put a guestbook out so your kids have all their friends’ addresses in one spot so they are able to stay in contact after moving.
When Packing, don’t get rid of Anything Important to your Kids
Generally, the packing process offers a great chance to purge yourself of any unneeded items. Make sure your kids are consulted before throwing out anything they may value more than you. An old doll or baseball glove probably holds some sentimental worth, so it’s better to let them make the final decision to get rid of it.
On Moving Day, keep Everyone Busy
When the big day arrives, it is important to keep everybody active. If you are moving yourself, have your older kids help pack and load anything they are able to carry. Younger kids can keep busy doing any final packing, or making sure nothing gets left behind. Reassure these little tykes their favorite things will be waiting for them after the move, but consider letting them carry their favorite toy in the car during the move itself.
Make sure your kids’ most important items get packed together, so it is easier to unpack quickly after you’ve moved. If you are using professional movers, consider bringing the box in the car with your family. For longer moves with a hotel stay in the middle, having these treasured items in the hotel room makes them feel more comfortable.
After the Move
Once you are settled in your new house, encourage your older kids to stay in contact with the friends in your previous town using email or video chat. This helps with the transition as they make new friends. Make it a point to visit any parks or interesting sites in your new location. Reassure them everything will begin to feel like normal before they know it.
Moving with kids doesn’t have to add to the other hassles of relocating. Keeping everyone informed and letting them contribute and play a significant role in the process helps keep stress levels low. Following these tips should provide some insight to make your move as easy as possible.