How to Prepare Your Kids For Moving
Moving from your home is a stressful experience for adults, never mind your children. For a kid, it can be particularly stressful as they will be distressed by leaving friends and having their world turned upside down. As a parent, this can add to the many other issues you need to deal with when leaving your previous home.
There are some things, however, you can do to reduce the potential problems and give your kids a better moving experience. Let's take a look at some of the best tips to limit the stresses of moving with kids.
Let Your Kids Feel Part of the Process
I remember growing up as a kid and moving quite a bit. As a child, I would be informed by my parents we were moving, and that was the end of the story. There was no discussion. Did I think I could talk my parents out of moving - no, of course not, but I'm sure I would have felt a lot better about it with some kind of heart to heart talk.
It can be all too easy to leave out your children when organizing and getting ready for the move. If your kids feel left out, they may not have the best feelings about the move. If you can do things, even little things, to involve them so that they feel like they are helping, so much the better.
You could let them pack some of their own boxes, perhaps allowing them to customize the boxes to make it more fun. Let them come on all your house-hunting trips, or at the very least involve them with the house you'll be making an offer on.
You could give them the chance to choose the color of their bedroom in the new home. Anything which will involve them in the moving process should make the transition easier. Remember, they are fragile human beings with tons of emotions. The more effort you put in to make them happy, the better over the long term.
Prepare Your Kids for the Move
You should help your children to understand as much as possible about moving from your house. You may have many months to get your kids used to the idea of living somewhere else. Ask them what their concerns are and help them understand the process. Highlight positive results that the move will have on their life.
Create a moving plan for them, so they can better understand what is happening and what will be coming next. Having a plan should reduce some of the anxiety children can experience.
Introducing Them to the Neighborhood
If you can take your kids to the area you are going to be moving to, this can help them feel more comfortable about the move. Show them their new school, sports fields, and other points of interest that could excite them about moving. This will get them ready and allow them to better cope with arriving in a new neighborhood.
If you can find out details about activities which they might be interested in joining, this can give them something to look forward to. It could lessen the bad feelings they might have from leaving your current neighborhood where all their friends reside.
Help From the Moving Company
Some moving companies offer extra services to families. This could be a childcare service or other activities which could amuse kids and make a stressful day easier for everybody.
When you have a lot to do and think about on moving day, this could really be a weight off your mind.
Holding a goodbye party for your kid's friends could be a great way to bring some closure to their time in the neighborhood. You can use the event to celebrate your time in the home and invite your neighbors as well.
You could even have a welcoming party when in your new home as well. This will enable both your kids and yourself to get to know your new neighbors and, hopefully, some new friends.
Keeping the Routine
You should try to keep as many things as possible the same as they were in your old home. Keep the child's routines similar to how they were before so that they have some familiar things staying constant in their life. This will help them ease into their new situation.
Setting out their bedroom furniture in a similar way to how it was in your old home could also help. Try to maintain family traditions you had in your old home, like movie nights or meal times. You might not be able to keep all their routines the same, but less change is going to be better in this situation.
Moving Day Essentials
There are going to be possessions and toys which your child won't want to be without, on moving day and the first days in the new home. Whether it is their favorite teddy bear or a much-loved toy, you should make sure it isn't packed away, especially if you have an interim move and are putting your stuff in the hands of a local storage company. Helping them put together a bag of essential things which they will want close to their side during the move and for a few days afterward is a great idea.
Explain to them that it could be a few weeks before everything is unpacked, so some things will need to avoid going into a box.
Creating a Better Moving Experience
Kids, depending on their age, can be overwhelmed by the prospect of moving to a new home. The more things you can do to make the experience a little easier, the less chance that they are going to get upset by the process. And this will, in turn, make for a better experience for yourself when moving with kids.
Moving with kids can certainly be a challenge. Selling a home is stressful enough for a family, but the move is usually the worst part emotionally. Kids become attached to the homes they live in just like us adults. Be patient with your children during this difficult time. Be sensitive to their needs, and continuously encourage them with positive thoughts about the move.
Best of luck!