Moving is a tough experience for the entire family, but it can be a very tough time for kids. Different children may react to moving in different ways. The key to making the move a success with kids is to keep them involved with the process. Be upbeat from the start, and talk to them as much as possible. Ask them come up with ideas on how to make moving better and easier. Make your kids feel they are important members of the family moving team! Here are a few tips for moving with kids.
Prepare kids for what to expect.
Young children might not have a good understanding of what the term “moving” really means. Explain to them what will happen. Look for age-appropriate books about moving together to help familiarize them with the process. Here are a few recommendations to get you started:
Have a goodbye party.
Give your kids an opportunity to say goodbye to the people who matter to them most. Children love a celebration, and this can be a great way to turn your move into a positive, exciting experience.
Make a memory book.
If you’re preparing for a long-distance move, chances are good that you’ll be leaving family and close friends behind. Help your kids make a memory book by building a collage of their favorite pictures with their favorite people. When you get to your new home, keep this book in a special place so they can enjoy those memories whenever they want.
It is hard to accomplish a task quickly when the little ones are running underfoot. Give yourself lots of time to plan and execute your move. If you can do a little bit everyday for 30 days, you can accomplish quite a bit without having to give up too much time with the little ones.
Time your move.
Sometimes, circumstances dictate when you have to move. But, if you have a choice, try to time your move so that it occurs at a relatively calm period in your child’s life. Take school schedules into consideration, and avoid moving when other big changes (like potty-training or sleeping transitions) are happening.
Pack a special bag of favorite toys and activities.
Surprise your kid(s) with a special moving kit, perhaps a small backpack or overnight bag that will stay with your child through the entire move. This can help get them excited about the move and they can keep special items like dolls, books, or blankets in this bag.
Label boxes of kids’ stuff very clearly.
Get the kids involved by creating a special label that marks “their stuff!” There will be a day after your move when they will need that one toy at that very moment. Include as much detail about what is in the box as you can!
Conner stores are your friend!
Remember: You are human, you will forget something, so cut yourself some slack. There stores are on every comer, so it’s easy to pick up extra diapers, snacks, band aids, sippy cups, etc. if the need arises.
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.
Make it feel like home.
Take your time unpacking, but also make it a priority to hang or display some of your cherished and familiar personal items as soon as possible. Familiar things will help to make a new house feel like home for both you and your children.