Tips for moving with Kids
Updated: Apr 24
Though moving to a new home is an exciting process, it can be hard on the kids as they may have to leave their friends, school, their old room etc behind. Moving may also be an opportunity to teach kids about resilience and healthy coping with the life's transitions. Every kid and their family situations are different, but there are certain things that can be done to make the move as comfortable as possible for the kids. Taking some time to prepare the kids beforehand, talking to them and involving them in the moving process, maintaining the routine might not only reduce the stress of moving but make the moving process curious and exciting for the kids.
Tell them in advance
Telling the kids in advance about the moving plan may give them enough time to adapt to the changes so that they don't feel rushed. You may talk to the kids about the exciting things they may encounter and may look forward to in their new place to take their mind off from missing their their old place. Being compassionate and answering their concerns may make them feel safe and secure about any transitions they encounter.
Involving the kids
Involving the kids as much as possible in the moving process may help them to cope with the moving stress to a great extent. The kids feel more stable or peaceful in an environment if their opinions are heard and are involved in the decision making of the moving process.
Research about the schools in the new home area and discuss about the opportunities the kids might get moving to the new area. You may also show the kids a video tour of the new school or browse through the school website to show them what exciting activities their new school offers.
Pack up favorite belongings
Pack up all the kid's favorite things in one box so that it will be easier to unpack once you reach your new place. You may also let the kids decide on the things that they might have outgrown and de-clutter by helping them conduct a yard sale. With the money they earn they may buy some new things for their new home, this gives them more control and sense of ownership on the moving process.
Saying goodbye to their old belongings, old home, old friends and neighborhood are never easy. By organizing a goodbye party like an ice cream sundae party, it might be a fun way to connect with the friends and family and make the process easier. Planning this might also give the school age kids or teenagers to exchange numbers and contact information to remain in contact with their old friends.
Maintaining the routine and preserving stability may help them to realize that not everything in their life is changing. Minimizing change as much as possible after arriving to the new home like such as movie night on Fridays, Eating out on Saturdays, following the same bed time routine etc will be a great help for the kids while transitioning.
Planning fun activities in your new place
Planning to meet with the neighborhood families or with families of similar aged children might give them opportunity to develop a sense of belonging in the new place and also to make new friends.
Set up your kid's room first
Setting up your kid's room first by unpacking all their old toys, books and bedding may help them feel safe and secure surrounded with their familiar things. Give them the opportunity to design their room according to their preference, allowing them to choose the paint color of their room, bedspreads, pillowcases etc might give them a sense of belonging and ownership in their new place.
Moving with Toddlers
Kids of this age might not be able to understand about the moving process, but they may be able to sense family's energies, having a positive attitude and planning beforehand might be stress free for all the members involved in the process. It might help them if their favorite toys or the bed they sleep on is packed at last and unpacked first after reaching their new home. Being with the things that are familiar to them may make them feel safe and secure. You might also arrange for a babysitter on your moving day to keep them engaged with activities.
Moving with Preschoolers
Though the kids pick up on the energies, they may not understand or know to vocalize their thoughts and feelings. Discuss about the options that the kids might have in their new home, school or neighborhood. Showing visuals may help the kids of this age understand better than talking to them. You may show them the video tour of their new home, their new school or activities present in their new neighborhood. Reading books regarding move might also help them to have a positive outlook on the process.
Moving with School age kids
The kids may have to leave behind their close friends at their school or neighborhood, even if the kids have known their friends for few years, it might feel like a lifetime for them. If kids start to throw tantrums, it might be so tempting to ground them or yell at them. It is important to stay positive, as kids pick up on your energy. But instead of becoming defensive, trying to understand their perception and empathizing might help the process a lot better for everyone involved. You may share your feelings and how you will be missing your old home and neighbors, which in turn may help them vocalize their feelings.
Moving with Teenagers
Kids of this age might have a great attachment with number of close school friends, neighborhood friends, activities in their neighborhood etc. Informing them beforehand gives them time to adapt to the concept of moving and make them feel not rushed. You may talk to them about how they may maintain their friendships even after moving, sharing similar experiences of your life, how they may be able to continue their favorite sport or other activities in the new home area. It may be very important to validate and acknowledge their feelings rather than just encouraging them to look at the bright side. You may try to bring their old belongings as much as possible as kids of this age might have a lot of sentimental value towards their belongings.
Safety is very important in the moving process especially if it involves small kids. Make sure to leave cords, scissors, cleaning supplies etc out of the kid's reach. Making a proper relocation checklist, starting and planning ahead of time may make the moving process smooth for everyone.