Moving can be a life-altering experience for a child. If you are moving out of the area and your children will be attending a new school, the difficulties for children may only be magnified. However, there are plenty of things you can do for your children during the moving process that can turn a stressful event into a time of excitement. Here are some suggestions.
1. Share the news early
Once you have made the decision to move, let your children know and listen to their opinions. While some kids may be disappointed – especially if you are moving out of the area – they may find some solace in providing input. Furthermore, the more time your children have to prepare themselves for the move, the better.
2. Show some excitement
Rather than expressing regret about the decision to move, let your kids know that a new home will be an exciting opportunity for everyone. Talk about the activities your family can do after moving and the benefits of their new school. As moving day approaches, you may find that your children are looking forward to everything from decorating their bedrooms to making new friends.
3. Get the kids involved
As you make the preparations to move, try to get your kids involved in the process. To help your kids remain focused and happy, work with them to schedule some fun activities before moving out. Find some local guide books or websites that your children can read and let them serve as tour guides after moving into the new neighborhood. When packing, it can also be helpful to let children box up and label their own belongings allowing them to feel more in control of the process.
4. Incorporate some creativity
To help your kids take their minds off the stresses of moving, encourage them to be creative. Younger children might enjoy painting pictures of your old house to display after you’ve moved. Older children can keep a journal or scrapbook during moving and have a story to share later. During the moving process, you could also give your kids jobs – complete with badges and uniforms – to help them stay involved.
5. Have a party
Prior to leaving your home, throw a party for yourself and your kids. Invite the friends of everyone in the family and plan some fun, all-ages activities. Afterwards, make sure your kids receive contact information for everyone they want to stay in contact with.
6. Get acquainted with your new surroundings
Once you have unloaded, try to make the first night in your new home as exciting as possible. Have fun playing hide-and-seek or a board game before worrying about unpacking and organizing. After you have settled in, start taking walks or bike rides around the neighborhood. You can introduce yourselves to the neighbors and the kids might find some new friends.
7. Get back to normal
For the sake of the entire family’s happiness, try not to take too long to resume doing what your family enjoys. You may want to drive through the area and acquaint yourself with the locations of businesses like grocery stores and restaurants. When Saturday rolls around, try out the local restaurant you found.
Though moving can be difficult on children of all ages, it can also provide something to look forward to. By keeping your kids involved during every step of the moving process, you will help them feel in control of the situation. After moving into your new home, help them understand that life will be as fun as it always was; it will just take place in a different location. Most importantly, do your best as a family to stay together and have fun along the way.