Having young kids is hard work and moving is hard work, so having to move with young children is extra hard work. Follow these 6 steps to have a successful move with your little ones.
- Breaking the News
- Preping for the Move
- The Actual Move
- Settling In
- Managing Emotions
- Starting a New School
The first step in moving with small children is to let them know what is about to happen. Sit down the entire family and tell them you have exciting news. It is important to have a positive attitude about the move and explain that it is a “new family adventure.” Remember to explain the possible pros such as new friends, new places to see, and remind your kids that they can still keep in touch with their old friends. Research the new area and find something that your child could possibly enjoy that is nearby such as a park, beach, ice cream parlor, etc.
Allow them to decorate their boxes. You can buy a box that can be colored like a coloring book and also have games such as a word search and tic tac toe. Or ask your moving company if they can supply you with some.
When packing their room encourage them to donate the things they won’t need or don’t want anymore and let them know that they can make another kid really lucky and happy about getting the toy(s). It is also important to provide your kids with positive reinforcement such as “I like how helpful you are being with packing up your toys.” Another important part of the move preparation is to get your kids an essentials backpack.
Fill the bag with their favorite toys, some snacks, a blanket, etc. Finally, say good-bye to important people and places and ask if your child would like to take pictures with these people/places, you can also make good-bye cards with your new address and email.
First, you want to explain what the process is going to be like for example “we are going to go on a plane and then we will get to our new home and our stuff is going to go in a truck and meet us there.” Remember to bring snacks and drinks for your journey. Go online together to learn about the new city. Let your child pick what they want to do first zoo, park, mini golf, etc. Play games in the car such as “iSpy” to keep them busy and help them with passing time.
Once you get to your new home you want to arrange your child’s room as closely to their old room as possible, so they will feel familiar and comfortable. Again, it is important to reinforce positive behavior such as complimenting them on their helpfulness with unpacking their toys. Give them a job to do to keep them busy and make them feel like they are helping. Explore your new community together, take a walk around the neighborhood or go to a popular area nearby. And finally, schedule time to write, talk, or video chat with the loved ones that still live in your old neighborhood.
If you notice that your child is sad ask them if they are feeling sad and why. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too, this way you can take better care of your children. Make new friends, meet other parents, meet your neighbors, play a sport, or join a club. Also, try to do things you used to do at your old house such as Taco Tuesday, Friday game night, etc.
Starting a new school can be really scary for your kids. To help them make new friends enroll them in a sport or club. Also, meet with your child’s new teacher to make sure your child is getting acclimated okay and is all caught up on their school work.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read