Friday, December 4, 2015 / by Jason Huerkamp
Tips on How to Move House with Younger Children
When moving house we often wonder just how we can do it without disrupting the family, their routines and their lifestyles. The thought of it is probably more daunting than the task itself, but telling the kids that, doesn't always allay their fears.
Here are a few steps that may help you all cope with that impending move.
Discuss the Move
People move house all the time. Relate a story about someone they know who moved home and is happy and settled. Peer association is more easily accepted than trying to imagine the move. Tell the children why you are moving. If it is a work related move, explain. If it's a tougher move, tell them. Kids understand more than we think and it's easier for them to cope with it all when the time comes to pack and go. If they have tears, comfort them and remind them how fun the move is going to be. Never stop them crying, let them talk it out and deal with their sadness, but always relay the positive things about the move. Here are 7 Great Books for Kids About Moving.
Paint the Big Picture
Describe where they moving to. Tell them about the house, the neighborhood and the amenities. Talk about what color room they would like. Tell them about the lifestyle they can expect. Talk about the schools or playgroups, the parks and the fun you are all going to have. Focus on the positive things and talk about the move regularly. Ask them what things they would like to do when they move. Often children don't realize there are parks, schools, friends in other areas. They consider their home neighborhood and familiar surroundings all that there is. They mourn for the familiar. If you can take a trip to the neighborhood | City that you are moving to, it could be a wonderful opportunity to help them to feel more comfortable. If you cannot, take lots of photos of the new place and area so you can put them on the fridge and let them begin to feel more familiar.
Long Distance Move
Children fear losing their friends, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and others. They don't want to leave them behind as they are not sure if they will ever see them again. It would be a good idea to use skype or facetime or similar before you move so they can understand they can see their family and friends and have a chat with them and yet they are still nearby for now. Technology is a wonderful tool for making distance less extreme.
If you have a pet, tell the children the pet is moving with you. Discuss the surroundings that the pet will enjoy i.e. park, walking trails, bark park etc It is a comparison for the child to understand. When you move with your pet, be sure to put something familiar that smells of his home or his family in his travel crate so he feels more comforted.
It is a good idea to keep reminding the children about all the fun you are going to have in your new house and remind them that there are new friends waiting to meet them.
Packing and Moving
Often children don't realize that they are taking with all their personal possessions and if they can be involved in the packing, it makes it easier to understand. Let them pack one of their own boxes with their personal things while you are packing other things in their room. They feel a sense of accomplishment and when the box arrives in the new house, they can unpack that box too. It is a great way for them to learn and they will look forward to finding their familiar things in the new house. They can even decorate the outside of the box so they can spot it at the new home.
Keep a Brave Face
When you have farewell parties, keep them light and short. Try not to let them see your tears and sadness. Don't have too many different farewells - it reminds the children how many people you are losing.
No matter where we move, things are never exactly the same. You have to keep a brave face because you set the mood for the household.
Once you get to your new home, let them participate in the unpacking. Don't leave them at a friend or family member while you are busy in the first few weeks, they may feel abandoned and uncomfortable. Rather let the family member or friend come to your house to look after them and perhaps allow them to be taken them for walks or similar in their new surroundings.
Take them out to find new friends, talk to neighbors find playgroups so you can settle the kids first. Happy kids, happy family. Talk to them about new adventures and discovering new things in the community, like explorers.
Good Luck with your move. If you have any other tips that can help others when moving, please let us know, we would love to add it to these tips.