Tips on Moving With Kids
Moving in general is stressful enough but adding kids to the mix makes it even harder. Especially if that move is to another town or state making kids leave their friends and family.
Falaya has put together some tips to make the moving process easier with littles:
Keep Your Kids Informed:
Kids are smarter than you think, they can pick up the whispered conversations and stress you are going through. Inform them about the move and talk to them age-appropriately. Also let them have input. Ask their opinions on what house to buy and actually consider their opinions.
Once the new home is bought use GoogleMaps to your advantage. Virtually walk through the neighborhood and familiarize the area before the big move happens. This helps the new area seem less foreign to little minds. They can also get excited about seeing that funky purple house on your first neighborhood walk. Another great tip is picking up some new places to visit once the big move is made. This gets them excited about moving and may take their mind off of leaving their old home.
Also let the kids have input in how they want their new room to look. This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands on a full room makeover, let them pick out little things such as new bedding or sheets or even a new rug for the floor. Another great option is having them pick out a new toy they have been wanting that has to be opened at the new home. This will get them begging for you to move so they can play with their new toy.
Involve them in the Packing:
Having to pack your entire life into boxes can be stressful; especially on your kids. To make the situation easier let them participate into packing.
For Toddlers and Littles:
- Help them go through their toys and decide what they want to keep and what they want to donate – offer an incentive if needed
- Let them draw and decorate the moving boxes for their room – this gets them excited to put their stuff inside
- Let them decide on the items they must have the first night in the new house and keep that in the car either in a box/or in a backpack. This way the first night in the new home there will be no scavenging boxes for that lovey or special stuffed animal
For Older Kids:
- Have them go through their memories and toys and decide what they are keeping and what they are throwing out. This is a good way to keep them busy for hours while you get more of the heavy packing done
- You may need to double check their ‘keep’ pile for any obvious trash items such as broken toys
- Let them pack their own items – it keeps them busy and they feel they are doing their part in helping out
- Give them to-do lists of things to do such as clean their bathroom or the playroom. This will be a major help in the long run.
- Offer an incentive such as money or a fun activity to do in the new home
Keeping the Transition Smooth:
Bring your kids to visit the new town before the big move. This makes the idea seem less scary. If they will be switching mid-school year, try to set up a meet-up or Zoom call with the new teacher to familiarize with. Understand that your kids will be going through a lot of emotions with this transition. There may be lash outs and behavior changes, just try to remember their whole world has been uprooted.
Once you are moved into the new home, try to meet the neighbors right away; especially if they have kids. The hardest part on kids, especially the older ones, is leaving their friends behind. To a kid, having a friend for one year feels like a lifetime for them, because it is. Try to reach out to parents to set up play dates. Once your child makes new friends the transition will be much easier.
Don’t Forget the Past:
Try to involve their past into the new environment. Before you leave the old home take some memento to remember it by. You could uproot a plant from your garden, or a rock, or even remove one of the bedroom doorknobs (as long as you replace it). Have your kid be responsible for placing this memento into the new home.
If you are moving with older kids they will remember their old house and old friends. Before the big move allow them to say goodbye to their friends one last time – a great idea is having a get together where they can invite all of their friends. Together they can create a craft for keepsakes so everyone can remember their time together. Some great craft ideas are friendship bracelets or a DIY picture frame.
Let your kids talk about their old friends and home. Plan visits home to meet up with old friends and family. If physical visits aren’t possible help your child create an email account so they can send pictures and updates to friends back home. Zoom or FaceTime calls are also very helpful.