Most people go through the daunting moving process at least one time in their life. When we’re young adults, we easily overcome such challenges. However, relocation of a family with kids requires double the effort, physically and psychologically. Our little ones are more affected by changes, so we need to do everything in our power to help them accept and overcome the period ahead of them. If you’re planning a relocation, check out these eight ways to make moving easier for kids.
Both young and teenage kids need time to process significant changes, especially if they don’t understand them. Thus, to make moving easier for kids, let them know about your decisions and plans at the beginning of your relocation journey. That way, they will have time to cope with such news, and it will be far less stressful when they can prepare for it.
However, honesty and communication are not guaranteed to make the change less hectic. To accept the challenges coming their way, kids need to express themselves. Your job is to listen to their concerns and disperse negative thoughts about moving to a new place. Explain the reasons for such steps and how the family will benefit from them.
Make them a part of the process
One of the best ways to make moving easier for kids is to get them involved in all the plans, not just have them follow you through the moving process. Even though engaging a child to do the chores can be difficult, you can always get creative.
Ask them for help and start planning things together. Moreover, ask for their opinion on decision-making. Which colour should you paint the walls in your new home? Where do they want their room to be? What is the first thing the family should do after arriving at the new house? Research together what kind of fun DIY toys from cardboard boxes you can make.
Allowing your children to make decisions, even the smallest ones, will give them control of the situation. Regardless of their contribution to the moving process, you’ll create great memories together by saying goodbye to your old home.
Introduce the good sides of the move
Your kids should know the deciding factors of the move. The same ones you’ve looked for while home hunting. If you research the best sides of your future community and introduce your family to them, you can make moving easier for kids. Start your research with:
- What does the new place offer that their old home doesn’t?
- Are there any fun outdoor opportunities nearby: beach, trails, parks, etc.?
- What fun activities the neighbourhood provides: dances, sport, art classes, or anything your child is interested in
Optimize your research by your kids’ preferences because you know best what they might find the most appealing.
Let them decide what to pack for a new home
Packing the house can be a daunting process when doing it alone. If you ask for help from your loved ones, you’re not only going to finish the job faster but have great company also. At the same time, every family member should say when home decluttering. Some items have no real value, only sentimental, so you need to be sure you’re keeping the right stuff.
Kids attach to toys, clothes, or anything they associate with a memory or a person. Removing the item from their life without an explanation can trigger stress and adverse reactions from your little ones. Therefore, allow them the option of taking the most valuable stuff with them to the new home. After the arrival, those are the first things to unpack and display in the children’s room. When unpacking, remember to work on this together with your kids and let them choose the best place for each of their belongings.
Check out the new home together
To eliminate any negative emotions about the move, introduce your child to the new home. Whether you’ve already bought the property or you’re just looking, your child should be present during the process. Try to engage your kid’s interest and ask for opinions about the potential home. Even though “there is no place like home“, if your new living space has better features, your kid will admit that.
Either way, kids need to know their new neighbourhood in advance. Take a weekend trip with them to your future house.
Keep and create social connections
Losing friends is difficult at any stage of life. For a kid, it’s even harder to comprehend such loss, especially if they formed deeper connections. The hardest part of the move is the loss of dear people. Luckily, today there are plenty of easy ways to keep friendships alive with just a few clicks. Encourage them to stay in touch with friends and maintain contact. At the same time, create new connections in your neighbourhood, school, and community to help your children find new friends and adapt faster.
Keep the old schedule as much as possible
Kids are the creatures of routine. Waking up, meals, snacks, playing, tooth brushing, and every other little thing that’s a common habit in your child’s life needs to be consistent. Changing the living environment is hard enough to accept without the routine disruption. As soon as you arrive at a new home, establish similar house rules you had before, and continue as nothing but your home has changed.
If you notice any physical or mood changes in your little ones, try finding the cause and comfort them through this hard time. It might be just the settling period. Arm yourself with patience and positive vibes, and your kids will pick up on that too.
Most importantly – take it easy!
Try to stay calm and make sure not to succumb to stress during the move. With the work overload, there is a significant chance the stress will overwhelm you at some point.
Kids can see that and often reflect. They trust you to be their anchor, so make sure to take it easy on yourself for everyone’s sake. The secret of any successful move is early planning, well-thought organization, and taking breaks. If necessary, ask for help. Relocation can be a hard bite to chew on your own, so getting some chores off your hands will make a difference. Thus, to make moving easier on kids, relax and take things at your own pace!