Moving on its own can be a daunting task. Add kids into the mix, and it can seem like complete chaos. There’s so much that’s involved with moving, from packing up your life to finding a moving company, that sometimes we can forget this is a huge life change for our kids.
Kids can easily become stressed, and the uncertainty of a fresh start can compound their fears. And when they’re uncertain or even afraid of what’s to come, kids can act out in unpredictable ways. This isn’t to say that all kids will act out; some will be their usual, hyperactive selves. Either way, helping your kids adjust to such a huge change in their lives is a must.
How to Prepare Kids for a Big Move
Be Open and Honest with Your Kids
Holding back information from the start is only doing a disservice to you and your kids. Be honest with them from the beginning. As soon as you know you’re moving, tell them. Being open about your upcoming move early on will give them time to think through what it means for them. This is especially important for very young children, as they may not feel a sense of control over the move by actively participating.
Show Them the New Neighborhood
If possible, take your kids to the new neighborhood and the new house. Bonus points if you’re able to let them see the inside of the house. Giving them tangible evidence of the upcoming move can help them process the inevitable change in their lives.
Another great idea is to take them to their new school if you’re changing school districts. Ask the principal if they can meet their new teachers or even walk around the school. This can give them a better idea of what to expect on their first day.
Be Accepting of Their Perspectives
It may take a little while for your kids to process the news, and they may have questions. Allow them to come to you with those questions, and be open to their perspectives or concerns. Let them know that their worries are valid.
Give Them a Sense of Control
By allowing your children to have a sense of control over the upcoming move, they will feel included in the process. Hold family meetings and allow them to give any input they may have.
You can also help them feel a sense of control by having them create inventories of their own rooms. Another good idea is to let them help pack boxes. (They may complain, but it will help them feel included.)
Let Them Plan Out Their Room
What kid doesn’t like to rearrange their room? Let them get excited about their new space by allowing them to plan what it will look like. Consider letting them pick out one new piece of decor for their rooms, even if it’s something small, to give them a sense of ownership.
Handling Kids on Moving Day
Get Them Involved
Give them a sense of control by including them on moving day. Depending on their age, ask them to help with certain tasks.
Introduce Them to Your Movers
Kids may be frightened or put off by all the movers coming and going. Assuage their fears by introducing them to all the movers.
If your kids are too young, they may not be able to help, and being in an environment where so many things are being moved can pose a potential injury to them if they get in the way. On the other hand, they may get underfoot from the movers who are hauling heavy objects. By arranging childcare for the day of your move, you can make moving day a little easier.
Have older children? No doubt, there will be a point in your day when you need a little time to yourself to handle tasks that kids can interfere with. Choose a time and arrange childcare for your older kids mid-move. This way, you can focus on all the things that need to be done by you.
Have a Going Away “Party”
Turn saying goodbye into something fun and interactive for the kids, even if it’s just a few minutes to say farewell to your old house. Let your kids write out their favorite memories from your old house, or simply thank your old home for all the good memories. This will give them a better sense of closure.
Adjusting After the Move
Prioritize Setting Up Their Rooms
While there may be a lot to unpack and handle upon arrival at your new home, try to make your children’s rooms a priority. This helps them feel more grounded and stable in the new home with a room to call their own.
If you had any routines or traditions at your old house, make an effort to keep these going. If you had dinner at the kitchen table, make sure to keep having dinner at the kitchen table. Pizza on Friday nights? Let your kids help you find a new pizza shop for their first Friday night in the new home. Having a sense of normalcy will help them settle into the new space.
Meet Your Neighbors
Getting to know the neighbors can make the neighborhood (as a whole) feel less foreign. And you never know — they may make some friends in the process!
Get Your Move on the Road!
Ready to get your move on the road? Let Swamp Rabbit Moving get you there! Don’t worry — our Rabbits are kid-friendly! Whether you simply need moving services or could use a hand with packing and unpacking, our Rabbits hop to it. Contact us today for a free quote! We’re here to help families around the Upstate, no matter if you’re in Easley, Gaffney, or even Spartanburg.