Packing up everything you own and moving, even if it’s just across town, can be stressful. Moving to a new community can have an emotional impact on anyone, and sometimes even more so on children. It’s easy to get so caught up in packing, scheduling Crocker’s Birmingham moving services, signing paperwork, enrolling the children in their new school, etc. that you forget to help prepare your kids for the move. How can we help our children make the transition to their new home a better one? Here are 4 tips for moving with children.
Let them help pack their own stuff
Having them pack their own rooms and stuff can help them understand what’s about to happen and will allow them to feel involved. The level of involvement will depend on your child’s age and abilities. School-aged kids might be able to sort their belongings into different boxes. Younger ones can put the last few clothes or stuffed animals in their boxes. Remind them that they will be able to open the boxes and get things out once at your new home.
Don’t exclude them from the process
This is especially true for older children. It may be tempting to tackle most of the planning behind closed doors or while the kids are asleep, but including your children may help them feel like their opinions and feelings are valid too. Talk to them about the houses you’re looking at, let them think about which room they like the best at the new house, discuss how the moving process works, and discover fun things about your new community together. Keeping things “secretive” can make it seem foreign and scary. Letting them know what to expect ahead of time can lead to a smoother transition.
Have a family member (or friend) take the kids somewhere fun on moving day
Yes, the Crocker Moving team is going to be loading and unloading the trucks for you, but there’s more to moving than just that. You’ll be doing the last bit of cleaning, possibly packing a few items into your own vehicle(s). Little ones, as much as we love them, can get in the way. Maybe you don’t want them to add to the stress or are concerned they could get hurt (or unintentionally injury others) with all the moving going on. It’s a great idea to ask a relative or family friend to take the kids for the day. They can fill the day with fun activities or even go do their favorite things around town one more time (that idea might be good for the whole family). Your kids can have a memorable day, and you can tackle the last few things around the house without worrying about the kids running around. Ultimately, you know your kids best and these are just suggestions. Maybe you have a super helpful child who would love to be there on moving day!
Get back into a daily routine
Dr. Howard, director of the Stress and Resilience Program at Child Mind Institute says, “Younger kids in general thrive with routine and predictability. You’re uprooting some of that with a move, which is difficult. Parents want to get a routine established ASAP.” Nap times, meal times, and sleep schedules are so important for children, so everyone will be happier and healthier with routine. This will help your children adjust.
Routines often involve friendships and playtime. For many kids, their biggest fear about moving is not being able to make friends and/or moving away from their friends. They might be sad about leaving a home or “leaving” their friends, so let them share some of those emotions if they’re open to it. Talk about the importance of making new friends and find ways together to meet new people and make new friends.
The Child Mind Institute says that ultimately, “your own attitude toward the relocation can also have a tremendous impact on how your child handles the move”. Making a move enjoyable and less scary for your children can definitely do the same for you. And with Crocker’s Birmingham moving services, the whole process could be more pleasant than you ever thought it could be!
When it’s time to relocate, contact us!