When young children are told they are moving they often feel scared, frightened and likely feel that their world is collapsing. Because a young child’s home is their safety net that they associate with family, love and comfort the thought of it disappearing can be quite frightening. Explain to them exactly what will happen, and take the time to read some age-appropriate books about moving together. For older children, the thought of leaving their friends, school and teachers and a familiar routine can be just as difficult.
Moving Tips For Kids
Be positive, realistic and honest. Tell your children the good things that will come from this move, and why it will be good for the entire family. But do not make promises you can’t keep and don’t exaggerate.
To ensure your kids feel like they’re involved in this big life-changing event, and to help make the transition a little easier, below are a few tips for a smooth transition:
Have a goodbye party. Give your kids an opportunity to say goodbye to the people who matter to them most. Kids love a celebration, and this can be a great way to turn your move into a positive and exciting experience.
Let the kids help you pack. If they’re old enough, let them help you pack some of their personal belongings. Even at a young age, kids can sort their toys and help you wrap objects in tissue paper or bubble wrap. If you’ll be putting some things into storage, ask them what they would like to keep and what they don’t mind parting with for a little while.
Leave one box of toys to pack for last. Don’t make the mistake of packing all the toys first as you will be left with bored kids. Your kids are going to need some things right up until you move out of your house.
Once you begin packing, label boxes of kids’ things very clearly. Don’t just label boxes with the word “toys.” To make life easier for later on, include as much detail about what is in the box as you can because, trust me, you won’t remember.
Make moving an adventure. Moving creates upheaval in your life, and wreaks havoc on your child’s normal routine, so take advantage and let your kids do things you normally wouldn’t. Perhaps let them stay up late or have treats you don’t normally allow. I’m pretty sure that all the extra trips to fast-food restaurants will be welcomed.
You may want to keep extra clothes handy during your move because you never know when you’ll need them. I’ve also found it helpful to keep extra ziploc bags and stain-treating spray handy, since you might not have access to a washing machine straight away.
Invest in a cooler, at some point before you move, you will have to unplug your refrigerator. This can make it difficult to feed your kids, so I’ve found a cooler to be a lifesaver. It’s a great place to store heathy snacks like apples, veggie slices, prepared smoothies, and low-fat cheeses.
If you have a potty trained toddler or a pre-schooler and are travelling a long distance remember to keep some pull-ups handy. It will give you peace of mind in case you can’t find a bathroom along the way.
Buy a small backpack that your child can keep with them for the entire move. Pack the bag with favourite toys and activities like dolls, books or blankets as well as other toys that they can play with along the way.
Don’t be in a hurry to unpack. If you start emptying everything out of boxes, immediately you’ll have piles of stuff everywhere, this will create unnecessary stress for everyone. Unpack what you need slowly but make it feel like home, make it a priority to hang or display some of your familiar personal items as soon as possible. Doing this will help to make a new house feel like home for both you and your children.
Keep some DVDs handy that will keep your little ones entertained while you unpack.
Maintain your familiar routines as much as you can. Once you’re in your new home, some things will change. But try to maintain the aspects of your life that are most important to your kids. Stick to familiar bedtime routines and continue your tradition of Saturday morning pancakes if you can.
Make sure you take the time to reassure your kids that you are a constant in their life. When young kids lose the security of a home they’ve always known, they can become insecure about losing other important things in their life, too. Remember to remind them that even when homes and friends have to change, you will always be there for them.
Make a big deal about all the exciting new things you can do. A new home means new friends and new opportunities. Get out and explore all the cool new attractions that you can visit if you’re in a new city, or take advantage of all the neat things your new home has to offer that your old home didn’t.
Buy some blank postcards they are a great way to stay connected to friends and family. Kids will be proud to show off their new home, and even young children who can’t write can draw a picture to send to friends or a family member.
Lastly, once you’ve unpacked keep the moving boxes for your kids. They make fantastic tunnels and forts that will keep them entertained for hours!