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Moving anywhere can trigger a considerable amount of stress and anxiety. You have to worry about taking care of every task on your to-do list. Will the moving company take care of your stuff? Then there is the matter of knowing how to make moving day easy to take for your children.
Relocating to another city is tough enough for adults. Imagine what your kids are thinking when moving day arrives. Although most children bounce back from adversity, there will still be a period when fear and doubt creeps into their minds. This is especially true if you delay telling your kids about a move.
Let us review a few tips for moving with kids. The common denominator for the tips is you must communicate with your kids to ensure a smooth transition into your new home.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
Children, especially young ones have a difficult time grasping what moving means. It typically does not hit them until you reach your new home. Communication should start early in the moving process, preferably when you start to plan a move. It is a good idea to tell your kids why the family must uproot and move to a new city. Although moving is often a chaotic process, you should still explain to your kids what will unfold on moving day. Explain the timing of the move, as well as how far you have to travel to start a new life. You children will need constant assurances that everything will be alright.
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but whoever wrote the timeless adage must not have known about moving to a new home. Much of the fear and anxiety experienced by children in anticipation of a move is not moving day itself, but what awaits them at their new home. Whether you are moving across town or relocating to a new city hundreds of miles away, it is an excellent idea to let your kids become acquainted and excited with their new surroundings. If you are making a long-distance move, treat the acclimation process as a kind of happy family vacation.
One of the most effective ways to get your kids to buy into a move involves letting them participate in the moving process. Simply telling them to get into the family car on moving day does not get your kids involved in the move. Start by asking your kids to pack their stuff for transport on moving day. Then, ask them to help you move some of the popular family accessories, such as paintings and heirlooms left by loved ones. Participation in the moving process will encourage most children to buy into relocation.
Nothing will help kids adapt to a move more than by celebrating both the past and the future. Give your kids an opportunity to say good-bye to friends, neighbors and people that matter the most to them. What child does not like a celebration? Once you arrive at your new home, throw another party to celebrate the start of your new life. Throwing a party at your new home will help your kids meet the children living in the neighborhood.
Nothing turns off a child more than having to deal with an adult that does not listen. You should give time to kids and listen to the concerns about the move voiced by your children. Kids ask a lot of questions, and when it comes to relocation, you can expect the questions to come at a fast and furious pace. Patience is the key for any move, but especially a move that involves relocating children. Always treat the concerns made by your kids with the utmost respect, even if you cannot satisfy some of the concerns. Most kids want to be heard.
This is particularly true for long-distance moves, as children typically become restless after a short time inside of a vehicle. Break out the video games, the movies, and any other electronic gadgets that will take the focus of your children off relocation. You do not want to hear “When are we going to get there,” and you do not want to hear cries of “I want to go back home.” You can also play some of the classic car games made famous by road trips.
You will have the frequent urge to complete your move as quickly as possible. Resist the urge by taking several breaks throughout moving day. One of the best ways to take a break involves going to your children’s favorite restaurant, whether the restaurant is McDonald’s or Applebee’s. When you see a sign stating “Rest area 10 miles ahead,” make sure to pull over after 10 miles to give you and your kids a much-needed break on moving day.
Yes, it is often impossible to time a move. From an employer-financed relocation to the need to be closer to your parents, many moves do not allow us to time them to our liking. However, if you have kids, you should time relocation during a relatively tranquil time of their lives. For example, it is rough on most children to relocate during the school year. Consider moving to a new house right after the school year ends to give your children plenty of time to make new friends.
Restless children can produce safety issues when you travel by car to your new home. Roughhousing in the back seat should not be allowed, as well as make sure to keep small toys away from any of your children that tend to chew on plastic things. Rambunctious kids can be a significant distraction for the driver of the vehicle. Keeps your kids buckled up throughout a move as well.
Exploring your new city before making a move is a good idea, but so is digging deeper into what your new city has to offer after arriving at your new home. Spend a week or so after a move taking your children to the exciting attractions your new city has to offer and have fun. Kids love adventures, so make your move an adventure by planning several family outing after the relocation.
Moving disrupts normal routines, and children have the most difficult time dealing with all the disruptions. You want to maintain the same routines throughout a move and after you arrive at your new home. For example, if your kids rise and shine at 6:30 in the morning, stick to the same waking routine throughout the move and after you settle into your new city.
See also: Moving Tips for Single Parents
The tips for moving with kids we have presented are tips that can be applied to children of all ages. Nonetheless, you will have to account for the stress a move generates on young children. We are talking about kids between the ages of two and six. Most of the things you will have to deal with involve personal hygiene issues, such as changing out diapers and helping your kids take baths. You also have to monitor sudden mood swings caused by the fear of the unknown.
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See also: How Does Moving House Affect Children | How to Buy a House with Parents or Adult Child | How to Move a Trampoline
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