Even when everything goes smoothly, moving is always a tiring experience. You spend weeks placing your entire life into boxes, disarming furniture, contacting movers, and doing paperwork. You end up physically exhausted from lifting things and emotionally drained from everything you’ve had to do. If you also happen to have children, you also have to manage their anxieties during the process. We’re here to tell you it’s an effortless experience, and you can come out on top!
While this is a big step for you and your family as a whole, your children are probably feeling a little more vulnerable. Their whole lives are about to turn upside down, and that’s harder to manage when you’re small and don’t have as many emotional tools. Think of the film Inside Out. Below, you’ll find some tips to help your kids cope during this significant change.
Don’t just pour a “we’re moving tomorrow!” moment on your kids. Find a simple way to explain to them why you’re moving and why that’s the best choice for the family and them in specific. This will help them connect a little more to the decision.
2. Sell Them Into the New Place
Tell them about the cool new things they’ll have in the new house. If you can, take them around the neighborhood so they can see things like nearby parks or sports courts. Try to get them familiar with their new environment beforehand, so it comes as less of a shock.
3. Get Them Involved
Children are very aware of the fact that it’s their parents making decisions for them. Your child might feel a little trapped, not wanting to move from where he’s comfortable. One great way to turn this around is having children become part of the move. Ask your kids to pack their essentials, to think about what they’d like to take, let them make a few decisions, even if they are small. Instead of a traumatic event, this can be a fun adventure and a place to start something new.
4. Let Them Say Goodbye
Give them space to be a little sad about leaving their home, or scared about the future. Maybe throw a farewell party so they can invite their friends over for one last afternoon of fun, even if it’s just eating pizza using boxes as a dining table.
5. Consider Kid-Friendly Movers
Many moving companies offer extra services for families with children, like babysitters or entertainment kits. Do some research and think of every member of the household!
6. Pack a Survival Kit
It may take weeks or even months to unpack everything, and your children may find themselves craving a toy that’s important to them. Sit with them to prepare a bag with their favorite things, so they’re already accompanied by them.
7. Minimize Change
Bring along as many things from the kid’s room to the new place, and even decorate just as it was. The fewer changes to the environment, the better. A near copy of their old room could become a haven during scary times.