No matter what, moving can be overwhelming, but it can be even more challenging when moving with kids. Moving can be stressful and difficult for a child, whether they are changing schools, moving away from family, or just leaving their childhood bedroom. But it does not have to be that way if you prepare them for the move.
Have an Open Conversation
If your kids are old enough to have a conversation and understand, you should begin by sitting them down and explaining what is happening. Tell them why you are moving. Whether it’s a job relocation, moving closer to family, or just wanting to move somewhere else, make sure the information you’re telling them is age-appropriate to ensure you’re not overwhelming them. You should also be sure you are allowing your kids to ask questions by giving this conversation plenty of time and telling them they can ask questions any time after the conversation is over. Throughout the discussion and even after, validate your child’s feelings. Whether they are excited or scared, reassure them by telling them you understand and that you are there for them. Make sure you are focusing on the positives of moving; if you’re moving to a bigger house, tell them about how they will have their room, a bigger backyard, or even a playroom. Finally, consider reading a book about moving with your kids. This will give them an example of a child who has moved and what they went through, which could help your child better understand what moving is.
Involve Your Kids in the Process
To help your kids feel like they are a part of the moving process, involve them! Depending on their age, they can help by packing, moving, or labeling boxes. You could even let them pack up their room. If they’re too young to help you, consider using the extra boxes in your house to your advantage while packing by creating forts for them to hang out in. Once you get to the new house, let your kids decide how they would like to set up their new room and even let them pick the color of their room. Letting them decide about their room makes them feel included and will help them feel more at home in the new place.
Finding Ways to Say Goodbye
If your kids are school age or moving away from family, talk to them about saying see you later or even goodbye. If you aren’t moving too far away, tell your child that they will be able to visit the friends and family they are moving away from. But if you are moving far away, prepare and talk to your kids about saying goodbye. Ask them if they would like to hang out with their friends one last time or if they would like to make something to keep and remember them by. Finally, prepare them to say goodbye to their home. Ask them if they would like to take pictures of their home so they can remember it or if they would like to walk around saying goodbye to each room in the house. By doing these things, you can help your kids receive closure and hopefully ease the stress of moving.
Pack a “First Night” Bag for Your Kids
While packing your kid’s room, make sure you pack them a “first night” bag and involve them in packing it. Talk to them about how in the bag there will be everything they need for their first night in the new home. Ask them what PJs they would like to have, along with any comfort items such as stuffed animals or toys they would like to have with them for the first night in the new home. Knowing that at the end of the day, when they go to sleep, they will have items to comfort them will put them at ease about sleeping in a new place.
Keep to Regular Routines
Whether it’s dinner time, bath time, or bedtime, it’s essential to stick to your regular routines to make sure your child does not feel more uncomfortable than they probably are. Staying with your routines will help your child feel a sense of normalcy in the new home.
Consider Childcare While Moving
During the moving process, decide if you would like childcare or not. Having childcare not only helps moving be less stressful for you, but it would also be less stressful for your kids. Instead of having your kids be in the absolute chaos of your new home, they could go check out the new local park or any other new local attractions with a sitter. This will not only distract them from moving, but it’ll get them excited about the new place they are living in.
Give Them Time
Finally, ensure you are patient with your kids and give them time to adjust to the new place. No matter how old you are, adjusting to a new place takes a while, so make sure you give your kids time to fall back into routines and get used to everything.
Hopefully, moving into a new place with your kids will be less stressful for you and them with these tips! And with no time, it will start to begin like home for everyone.