Moving house is one of the most stressful undertakings you will deal with in your life time. While obviously adults have much to fret about; between financing the move, organizing it and obviously executing it you will have plenty of work to do.
While it is easy to get wrapped up in the stress of everything you are dealing with, it is important to remember the stress your children are enduring as well. They are going through a major life change during pivotal learning years and this must be taken into account.
Use these tips to help your children cope with moving:
Before the Move
- Tell them Early
The earlier you inform your children about the move, the more time they will have to process it. While many children (especially as they get older) will be upset about the move at first, the earlier you tell them the more likely they are to come to terms with it and accept it.
Hiding the news from your children may seem like a better idea but throughout the entire process the more honest you can be, the better it will be for everyone.
- Ask their Opinion on House
The more involved you can get your child with the moving process the more accepting they will be in the long run. A big way this is possible is by asking them their opinion on your prospective new houses. Your children will be living in the house for years as well so it is important that it is a space they like.
Ask your child their opinion on things that are important to them. Do they need an extra room for their toys? Do they prefer a big back yard to play in or would they rather be close to a park? Getting help from your children will help ensure long-term happiness for both of you.
- Give them Decorating Authority
Get a floor plan of your child’s room and ask them how they want to organize their furniture. While it may come out entirely different once everything is in the actual room, this is another way to help your children feel involved in the process.
Bring home paint swatches and ask what color they would like to paint their room. Find out if they like their wall decorations or if they would prefer to update their posters and such. Like I said before, the more involved you can get your kids the easier the move will be.
- Visit Favorite Spots
Before embarking on the adventure to your new home, take your children on a tour of their favorite spots in your current town. Visit their favorite park, restaurant, babysitter, and anywhere else that is important to them.
One last walk around the school they are leaving could be a great opportunity for them to feel ready to move on to the next school!
- Take Pictures
Take pictures of everything. Get pictures of the favorite spots you visited, the old school and even the house you are leaving. Also make an effort to get a picture of your children next to each of the friends they are leaving behind.
All of these pictures can be put into a photo album, which makes an awesome keepsake they will appreciate both now and later in life when reminiscing.
- Valuables Box
Tell your children to get the most important things from their room for the special box that will travel with them in the car rather then in the moving truck.
Encourage them to decorate their box and make it their responsibility to pack and move their valuables. This will not only give them something to do but they will also appreciate the fact that their belongings are a priority for you as well.
During the Move
- Give them jobs (if old enough)
Give your children clear instructions on how they can be helpful on moving day, Preparing them a list of their responsibilities ahead of time could keep them busy for hours. Make sure to follow up with each item on the list to make sure it was done correctly.
If your children are thinking about their tasks on moving day it will keep their mind off the negative side of moving which is better for everyone involved. Assign them tasks, for instance moving the junk from one end of the property to the front where a junk removal company can dispose of it properly and responsibly.
- Hire a sitter (if not old enough to help)
Hiring a sitter for small children on moving day is the best advice I can give you. This will keep your children safe and off your mind so you can focus on making sure everything arrives to your new house safe and sound.
Without a sitter the children would be running around which could cause them to get injured, or someone trying to avoid them could get injured. Both scenarios are easily avoidable by hiring a sitter. If you have a go-to sitter this is also a great last opportunity for your children to see the sitter and say their good byes. You should also hire a quality local mover.
- Unload Children’s rooms first
When you finally arrive at your new home I recommend starting the unpacking in your child’s room. People often start in living spaces such as the kitchen or living room but starting here will make everything else much simpler.
By constructing your child’s furniture first and unpacking the boxes, you can keep you child entertained for hours by the idea of decorating their room and finding the perfect spot for all of their belongings. This also gives you more free time to handle the other rooms.
After the Move
- Bring them with you to on moving day errand runs
In an effort to continue making sure your children feel included, bring them with you when running errands on moving day. It often seems easier to split up as parents and have one person go run all the errands, but bringing the kids along gives them an opportunity to see the town and help make some decisions.
- Get Familiar with the new neighborhood
This may not need to happen the day after the move but over the next week or so take your kids out into the community and find things they like about it. Look for unique and local places you cans start frequenting to support the local businesses.
Identify things such as your child’s new favorite restaurant or the best park in your part of town. Also make sure to be social! Get out and meet the neighbors. Often times some of the neighbors will have kids the same age as yours and once they have a few friends they will really start to feel more comfortable in their new home!
- Include them on new projects around the house
A great project for around the house that many children love is painting their own room. Most children feel very empowered by having the ability to choose the color of their room, and even paint it themselves. If they are too young to paint it themselves, let them finger paint on the walls before hiring some one-day painters.