We all know that moving is a stressful time for adults, but what about the kids? Moving can be a scary concept for children, it can lead to a lot of anxiety about change. They worry about missing their neighborhood pals, losing the friends they’ve made over years at school, if they’ll like their new room, and the list goes on. This list presents different methods to make your kids feel involved in the moving process and adjust to the change heading their way.
Moving is a great time to give away old possessions and declutter, let the kids lend a hand!
Keep them involved in choosing what they keep or donate. If my kid brother woke up one morning and his Speak-and-Say was gone, the world would end! But presenting the option to the child to either keep or donate an item gives them a sense of control. If there are items you pre-determine you would like them to keep, it may prove helpful to pre-select the toys and clothes you say they are allowed to donate.
Get them involved in the hunt!
When you start house hunting, allow the kids to voice their opinions about potential houses. Letting kids feel that they have a say in picking out your new home is one of the best ways to make them feel included. Show them all of the opportunities ahead of them, where they could play in the yard or which room could be theirs. Allow them to help pick out the color of their new bedroom, encourage them to design a doodle of what they want the new bedroom to look like once their stuff is there. If you’re not planning to bring them along house hunting, snap some pictures to show the kids (or take them through an online tour if that’s available), they’ll want to know what their new house will look like, and showing kids the house gives them the opportunity to image what their lives will be like in this new home. Once you’ve settled on your new home, keep the kids involved in researching the new community, tell them about the fun things to do in your new area, what the school system is like, where the nearest parks are, or find your new family-favorite restaurant. Allow the kids to craft something like a door wreath or a painted flower plot for your new home so the home feels more inviting to them upon arrival. Once the car is parked outside the new house the kids will light up seeing something they created already visible in the home.
Making the packing process fun!
Let kids “dress up” your moving boxes. Put out stickers, markers, decorative tape, etc., your kids will have a blast and you’ll have the swankiest boxes in town. This also keeps them preoccupied for a while when you need to focus on bigger aspects of the move. If you have the open space, make box forts! Work with your kids to create the most epic box fort using your packed up boxes, just be sure they are stacked safely so the kids don’t experience an avalanche. And if none of that gets them excited, give them their own designated empty boxes. Believe me, they’ll find a use for them.
Utilizing the nearly-empty house as a playground!
You’ve finished most of your packing, the beds have been dismantled, have a jump on the mattresses! Empty rooms are a great place for children to run and play, let them play tag or hide & seek. On your last night in the house, try camping out in the living room. You’ll create lasting memories for yourself and the kids, while also saying goodbye to your old house.
Goodbye’s don’t have to be miserable!
Kids develop a lot of relationships through school, extra curricular activities and the neighborhood. When it’s time to move, consider throwing a small party so the kids can say goodbye to some of their friends. There will be sad moments, but this can help your child feel closure. A moment like this could help them realize just how important friendships are and how to deal with some of the harder moments life has to offer. Maybe craft a sign-in book with your children so the guests can leave heartfelt messages, or phone numbers and email addresses so the kids can stay in touch.