Moving With Kids

Helpful Tips for Moving with Kids

One of the most difficult things to do as a parent with children is move to a new home. While there is already a huge amount of stress involved in moving itself, when you add kids to the mix, you are adding even more stress and trouble to the process. Now, not only do you have to handle the general logistics of the move, but you also have to make sure that your kids are handling the changes without too much difficulty. Thankfully, there are a few simple things that you can do to make this event a little less troubling for the youngest members of your family.

 

Kids and Change

If there is something to be said about kids in general, it is that they don’t like when things they are used to change dramatically. Yet, when you move, this is exactly what is happening. Their routine is disrupted, they find themselves facing the need to get used to a new school and a new home, and they are leaving everything they once knew about the world behind. For kids of all ages, this can be terrifying.

 

As a parent, you may notice a number of things as a result of these dramatic forced adjustments, including behavioral problems, lashing out, over-emotional outbursts, clinginess, and a massive drop in grades. The bad news is that no matter what, your child will require a period of time to adjust to the idea of moving, and then another period of time to adjust to the change of location. The good news is, however, that you can help them through this entire process so that you can avoid the more unsavory aspects that might otherwise surface.

 

Helping Your Kids

With the goal to help your child adjust to the idea of moving, consider some of the following tips from parents who have moved before. While not all of them may apply to your specific situation, the ones you can employ will go a long way towards helping your kids move without trouble or stress.

 

Breaking the News – First things must always come first. Before you can dive into the moving process, take a moment to break the news to your kids. It’s best to let them know as soon as you know about the need to relocate so that they have lots of time to come to terms with the simple fact of the family move. It’s a good idea to do this during a family meeting, where questions can be answered, and there is nothing else pressing going on. Don’t try to break the news as you are dropping them off at school or another activity where this information will just sit in their head and fester.

 

Communication! – As with all things in life, communicating with your children is important. Your kids need to know that you are there if they have further questions after the family meeting where they learn about the move. Furthermore, your kids also need to know what’s happening throughout the moving process so that they are not surprised by the different events that happen throughout. Obviously, your level of communication will vary with the age of the children involved; for younger kids, checking a book out at the library and having reading time may be the best approach, while older kids might just prefer that you talk to them.

 

Make it Appealing – Take steps to make the idea of moving to a new home appealing to your children. The manner in which you do this will be different depending on your specific child, but the result will always be a positive one. Here are some things you can do to make it appealing:

 

  • Map out their rooms with them using actual measurements. Use these maps to set up their rooms when the movers deliver your things.
  • Allow them a budget to use for decorating their new room. Whether you let them choose paint colors, or simply decorate with wall-safe stickers, allow them to create something entirely their own.
  • Show them around their new neighborhood online and point out all of the great things there are to do there. Talk about activities they may want to get involved with when you arrive.
  • Be excited yourself! If you are excited about the move, they will pick up on this and be excited as well.

 

Get Them Involved – No matter how old your kids are, there are a number of things that they can help with when it comes to the move itself. Get your kids involved by letting them help with some of the following:

 

  • Younger kids can help label boxes by using sticky labels of different colors.
  • Older kids can help pack their room and other rooms they use. Depending on their age, they can even help with the kitchen.
  • Work with younger kids to help them pack their room rather than doing it while they are away. This will help them realize that all of their things are being moved to the new home and that nothing is going to be left behind.
  • Let your kids help build the moving schedule and if they are interested, allow them to help with things like change of address forms and creating notification postcards to mail out to friends and family to let them know you’ve moved.

 

Familiarization – Being familiar with a new area will go a long way to helping your kids deal with the changes that are soon coming. In order to avoid problems, try to bring your children to the location where you will be moving so that you can show them around. If they are able to see it with their own eyes, they will be less scared of the area itself. If the new place is too far away for a short road trip, consider online walkthroughs and tours that many realtors and apartment complexes offer these days. Technology is at your fingertips! Use it to help make the moving process easier on you and your kids.

 

Take Time Out – Don’t forget to take some time out for you and your family. Sure, moving is a hectic time in your life, and there is plenty going on around you, but if you take some time out just to be with your kids, you will find that things will go much more smoothly than if you solely focus on the move itself. Spend time reading, doing crafts, cooking together, or even go somewhere just to get away.

 

Moving with a family is certainly a bit more difficult that if you were moving on your own, but if you know how to approach the process, you can easily avoid problems. Sure, stress is always bound to be a part of things, but by keeping these things in mind, you can help your kids get through the move and get adjusted to their new home without having to worry about behavioral problems, lower grades, or other problematic effects.