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Moving houses can be a busy and hectic process. Most families face the prospect of moving more than once in their lives. The process may not only be disruptive for the parents, but also, quite daunting for little kids who may not fathom the reasons behind such a decision. They would, at many times, resist having to move and wonder why they have to leave their old friends and lifestyle behind for a completely new unfamiliar one. This is why kids need time and extra attention during this transition phase. You need to guide and help them so that they can move peacefully without any stress or negative feelings.
How to Discuss Moving with Kids
Kids usually thrive on routine and familiarity, so a sudden change would definitely rock their comfort. Talk about the move as much as possible, truthfully answer any questions they may have with patience, and accept both negative as well as positive reactions. If the move is due to you wanting an improvement in your family’s lifestyle, sometimes kids will be too young to understand this. In such a case, it will be up to you to explain to the best of your ability. You can actively involve your kids in house-hunting, looking for new schools or exploring the new neighbourhood. This will make the sudden change feel less forced onto them and more like a group activity. If the move is far away from your current location, you can also spend time with them looking up details and pictures of your new house, area, state, pin code etc. online.
Tips for Moving With Toddlers and Preschoolers
Although kids younger than 6 are easier to handle during moving as they are too young to understand what changes are taking place, it still needs to be handled with care. Here are a few tips to make the process of moving house with a toddler easier and stress-free:
- Give simple and clear explanations.
- Try not to discard the furniture in your toddler’s old bedroom. Hold on to it and arrange it in his new bedroom in a similar way. Familiarity breeds comfort.
- Make sure to explain to your toddler when you pack his clothes and toys that you are not throwing anything away.
- Make a move a fun story for your child. You can also use furniture and toys to act it out for him.
- When you are moving, try not to introduce any other big changes in your toddler’s life, like potty training or transitioning him from a crib to the bed.
- Arrange a babysitter to be with your toddler during the day of the move.
- If your new house is vacant and nearby, visit it a few times before the move, and each time, place some of your child’s toys there so that they will welcome him when he enters.
Tips for Moving With School-age Children
Whether you are moving nearby to a new house or moving abroad with a child, for the child, it’s still a big move all the same. Elementary school going children (age 5 to 8 years) may be relatively open to the move, but will still need consideration through the process.
1. Ask for Help with Regard to the Kids
You’re going to need lots of time to pack, so ask a friend or a family member to help entertain your kids when you pack. This can give you the time you need to focus on shifting and also help keep your kids distracted so that they don’t feel lonely seeing all the flurry around the house.
2. Involve Your Kids With the Move
In all the work of packing and talking with the movers, it’s easy to overlook your kids. Make sure you keep them involved from start to finish by giving them a choice of the colour to repaint the walls or making a game out of packing their own possessions. This will help them be cheerful and feel included.
3. Have a Goodbye Party
Host a small party for your child’s friends so that they can properly say goodbye to each other and get closure from leaving their friends and family behind. You can also host another party once your new house is set up.
4. Keep the New Place Familiar
Minimize changes in your new house by setting up your kid’s bedrooms in the same way as the old house and arranging for the same morning routines. Try to keep things like ‘Sunday Movie Night’ or ‘Saturday Pizza Night’ constant so that your child can be eased into the transition.
5. Visit the New Neighbourhood Before Moving
If possible, take your children along to explore the new surroundings before you move there. You can greet new neighbours together, visit the new school and even have a walking tour downtown. Make sure to check what activities your kids can take part in, like visiting a sports club or a nearby park with them.
6. Pack a Special Bag for Moving Day
Some children don’t want to be separated from their toys for even a week, so help them pack a special ‘Moving Day’ bag in advance which contains everything they want to keep close. Explain that you’re doing this as it takes a week or more for boxes to be unpacked in the new house. You can even pack a special surprise like a snack or a new toy in their bag for when they arrive.
These tips will ensure that your children will not feel overwhelmed with all the new changes associated with moving houses. Good luck!
Also Read: Things to Do When You are Moving to New City