Children can be very unpredictable when it comes to moving. Most of them get depressed and feel hopeless and powerless thinking that no matter what they do, won’t affect the decision to move. So, in order to make it easier on them, involve them in other moving-related activities and decisions as much as you can, so that they don’t feel left out again.
Moving itself can be very stressful for the kids – suddenly they are facing major changes in their lives. But, should it be necessarily a tragic event? Of course not. You can turn this transition into fun and make it an adventure.
Letting them be a part of the whole process will make them feel more secure. It’s important to keep them occupied, so keep them informed about the new location – you can search together online the new environment, schools, parks,…
Handing them moving boxes and giving them instructions how to pack won’t go a long way. So, you have to be resourceful enough to think of the way to get the job done and your kids entertained. First of all, search your new home together. Don’t let them feel excluded. Take them with you to look at the houses you may be interested in. Once you have chosen the new home, let your children map their room. They’ll get excited about it. If your kids are old enough to take care of packing, assign them to pack their own items. In order to motivate them, offer some kind of reward for their efficiency. An incentive will increase their productivity and this game will be interesting for them.
You can organize the competition between them and reward the child who packed his items or cleaned the bedroom first. You can go together through their clothes, toys, books and decide what to keep, donate or sell. So, have them set aside items that they no longer use or need. Make them realize that there is someone who needs them more. Also, let them pack a box with some special items, their favorite toys, pajamas,…and have it available as soon as you reach your new home. Assign them tasks according to the age – young children may pack books or toys. Put on their favorite music while packing.
Packing, singing and listening to the music can be really relaxing for all family members, considering all the stress and troubles that moving has put you through. A positive attitude and creative approach may ease the whole relocation process and make it less stressful and painful for everyone involved. Bare in mind that moving with children are leaving behind their friends, so make sure to throw a goodbye and housewarming party for all their friends. Furthermore, you can make a memory book for your kids, who will fill it with photos, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers. Help them stay in touch with their friends after the move.
Let them decorate their bedroom and choose furniture, paint color and other details so that they can feel comfortable in the new bedroom. Make sure to find reliable person who will look after your kids on moving day. However, older children can be helpful – they can carry light boxes, take care of the pet or do some light cleaning.
While packing, put some surprises into children’s moving boxes – a new toy or a shirt, which will make unpacking more enjoyable. Organize a family night before you move out. Have some time with your loved ones to relax and get out some energy after a tough day. You can play favorite video games, watch cartoons, movies, prepare or order your favorite food, visit some special places in the neighborhood.
Try to stick to the routine during the moving process. Kids may become very upset if their every-day structure is somehow changed. So, if they are normally having lunch at 1 pm and then taking a nap, there is no reason to change that routine during the moving process. Moreover, you should encourage them to keep doing their usual activities. Being busy with all moving procedures, you won’t be able to give them your full attention, which may be very disturbing for them. So, try to make this transition easier on them as much as you can.