Moving house with kids could be an extremely stressful experience if not handled with the utmost care. Just because they are young and resilient, doesn’t mean you can keep them out of the loop and ignore their fears, hoping that they will forget all about this once you arrive at your new house. Below, you’ll find a handful of things you should know when moving with kids. Take a look and you’ll know what you need to do:
- They Get Anxious Like You
Your kids have the capacity to get anxious just like adults do. These feelings can feel big to them, and they won’t always know what to do with them. Address them if you can. Talk to them about the move, what it means, and ask them questions. Answer questions they have and try to normalize this as much as possible. Don’t dismiss their feelings just because they are children.
- Ease Their Worries By Showing Them Pictures
Showing your kids pictures of the new place, or even taking them to visit if you can, could be a huge help in getting them ready for the move. You could even show them pictures of their new school if they’ll be moving there, too.
- Get Them Excited
Vow to make new memories as soon as you arrive at your new place, and stick to your word. Get them excited and talk about all of the great things you’re going to do! Go to the park, have friends over, have movie and game nights, whatever you like. Make sure you focus on making some amazing memories so that this place starts to feel like home almost straight away.
- Find A Sitter On The Day
On the day of the move, only if you’re not moving too far away, you should look into hiring a sitter. This means that you can get to and from your new place without tantrums or worry, unpack as much as you can, and then bring the kids in with confidence. You don’t need to have it all finished, but it’ll be a lot less stressful than bringing young kids into an empty house and having to unpack and figure out where everything is going to go. It can also be a good idea to do this if you have pets.
- Try To Keep Them As Involved As Possible Beforehand
Before you move, try to keep your kids in the loop. This could be based on their age, but make sure you give them details where possible. Even if you’re just looking at homes for sale, it can be a good idea to tell them when you are looking. This will make them feel like an important part of the family and can help them to feel like they have at least a little agency over their lives.
- Tell Them As Soon As You Can
Once you know you’re moving, tell the kids as soon as you can. They can plan to say goodbye to their friends this way, and find ways to stay in touch. It could be a good idea to plan an event where friends and family members come over to say bye, although it’s worth noting that too many people at once will mean that some end up neglected and may not get a proper goodbye. This is why you should leave plenty of time and planning. Make the rounds, invite people over, and make sure your child is satisfied. Make sure they have email addresses and anything else they may need to stay in touch with their good friends, too.
- Answer Their Questions
Help them to feel validated by answering their questions. Never tell them they are being ‘silly’. If they have never moved home before, they will likely have no idea what this entails and may have a variety of fears that don’t make sense to you but make sense to them. Listening without judgement, giving them kind answers, and telling them their feelings are normal will help them to get past them.
- Try To Help Them Understand Their Feelings
Help your kids understand their feelings. This is one of the most important things you can do to help your kids when they are struggling with difficult emotions. They will experience big scary emotions, and they might not understand what those feelings are or how to deal with them. You can help them to move past particularly scary emotions by using books, music or clips of favorite TV shows to help them deal with their emotions in a positive way.
- Start Way Earlier Than You Think You Need To
When it comes to packing and getting everything changed over and ready, start way earlier than you think you need to. Give yourself a lot of time so that you don’t have to rush and can breathe easy throughout the process.
- Pack Emergency Boxes
Pack an emergency box for everyone on moving day. This is good for each family member, but especially for kids. They can grab any comfort items they may feel they need this way, and won’t have a melt down when they realize a treasured item is hidden underneath a pile of heavy boxes.
- Make Their Bedrooms Familiar
Make your kids bedrooms familiar, and do this as early as you can. In fact, many parents decide to take care of their kids’ bedrooms first, so that they can have somewhere familiar to sleep on the first night. They don’t need to be complete, but making the room familiar in some way can be a big help.
- Let Them Make Some Decisions
Let your kids make decisions. For example, what style they would like their new rooms to be, and whether they would like to give old toys to charity or to a friend before moving. Encourage them to get rid of things they haven’t used in a long time so that you have less to move, but make it feel like their idea.
- Allow Plenty of Time To Adjust
No matter how well you handle the move, your kids are probably going to need more time to adjust. They may not sleep well for a while, and may complain of various things around the house. Try to allow them this adjustment period and go easy on them.
- Practice Self Care Diligently
Practice self care throughout this entire process. Stop packing and sleep when you need to. Getting enough sleep is the best possible thing you can do for stress, so make sure you’re prioritizing it. Your child will also require more patience from you, and for this, you’re going to need to feel calm and collected. Self care is crucial to avoiding an explosion or implosion. Put on your own oxygen mask first.
- Promise To Help Your Kids Stay In Touch With Family Members and Friends
Make sure you stay true to your word once you have moved and help your kids contact family members and friends. Help them to Facetime, write out an email, send pictures, and do what it takes to stay in touch. If you’re not too far away, arrange for their friends to stay a day or two if possible. This could make the process more bearable for them, especially if they are struggling to adjust or nervous about starting school. They need to feel like they have a friend or two.
Moving with kids isn’t easy, but if you pay attention to the above tips then you should have a better time.