We were recently blessed to move into a new home. Although only a mile away, we had a lot to move. I have a 10 year old, an 8 year old and a 17 month old. Each of them had their worries and excitement about moving. Here is a list of the top 10 things I learned to help ease the transition.
Top ten tips for moving with kids:
1. Prepare them. Tell them ahead of time that the move is coming. Even the little ones will appreciate not being caught off guard. You will be packing things and having showings if you are selling first, so letting them know what will happen in the future will help ease the uncertainty.
2. Pack slowly. Don’t take all of their stuff at once. If you have a few weeks, take a few weeks and start with things they won’t miss.
3. Remember it is their stuff. Let them choose their special stuff and a box to keep in their room. It can stay with them up until you leave and go right to the new room.
4. Get to know your surroundings. Once you have found your new home help them to get acquainted with the area. If you are moving within a short distance, drive through the new neighborhood. Play in nearby parks and walk around.
5. Keep schedules. There is a lot of change that happens with a move. Keep their sleep and eating schedules as close to normal as possible. This way even with the changes there is a sense of normalcy.
6. Ask for their help. Let the kids be a part of the move. Even toddlers can pack toys in boxes. Let the big kids pack up their rooms and toys. Make games out of it and offer the boxes as “payment” at the new house. My nephew was a huge help and has since made a city from our moving boxes.
7. Make it a positive experience. Moving is stressful, especially for the adults. Our stress and demeanor lead directly to how our kids feel about things. Try to take a time out in the craziness of it all to talk positively with your kids about the new adventure before you.
8. Include them in decisions. Moving can feel out of control to any of us. Many kids don’t want to move, they don’t want to change homes or schools, or lose neighbors. If you let them help make decisions they may feel more in control. Bigger kids can choose their paint colors or draw a picture of how they want their room set up.
9. Take pictures. Photograph the old house and their rooms and yard. Help them to remember all of the fun times they spent there and help them to think of all of the fun they will have in the new house.
10. Remember they are kids. Sometimes we expect more than we should from our kids. Remember that this is all new to them and to try and be patient even through your own stress. Just as we may lose our cool, they will lose theirs as well. Give them time to make the adjustment.
Moving is one of the most stressful and rewarding things in our adult lives. Many of us move to provide better things for our kids. Hoping these suggestions make your moving experience just a little more positive.