Moving with your kiddos brings a whole new dynamic to the mix. Just like you are working through your anxieties, your kids are trying to handle theirs. For them, their entire world has tilted. Combat the stress by anticipating and prepping for your child’s move.
Communication and involvement during the move
Kids need to know it is okay to talk to you during stressful moments in their lives. Recognize you may feel guilty for making them leave their friends. Being able to talk through those hard feelings allows your kiddos to know they can come to you.
Ask “what can I do to help you?” Asking lets them know you care and have their back. If you are stressed-out yourself, honor this and take care of your own mental health so you have the energy to help them. It’s like the airplane instructions: secure your own mask before placing your child’s on them.
We get it – you just want to get it done, but by allowing them to be a part of the process of planning, your kids will start to feel like part-owners of the move. Perhaps you need to have a yard sale. Let them go through their items and keep whatever money they make to use on their new room. If they are old enough, have them pack their own items in self-decorated boxes or skip that completely and hire movers to pack for you.
When you get to your home, give them their choice of room colors or bathroom decor. If you are afraid this will yield neon or dark, angst-filled walls, pick out a handful of acceptable shades and let them pick. These small choices morph your kids into active participants in the move and less a person being forced to leave their hometown.
Honor the friend factor
Losing their friends due to a move is heartbreaking. Teenagers have a hard time breaking into new friend groups when cliques have already been established. With social media and technology, it is possible that
they can stay connected with old friends while they branch into new groups.
Before you move, plan a last party. Gather friends’ addresses and take lots of pictures. Expect after the party, there may be a letdown moment for your kids but reassure them you will keep in touch. When you get to your new neighborhood, consider hosting an open house to meet the neighbors and help your kids connect to new friends.
Extracurricular activities and sports are quick ways to develop friendships. For younger kids, MOPS and library activities can open you up to families with similar interests. Research some activities in the area and jump in.
Focus on the bright side
Kids soak up our emotions. If you show stress and negativity toward the move, they will feel stressed and negative. Keep in mind when they share their fears with you, it doesn’t mean they are not a little excited, also. Answer questions honestly and prepare them for the changes but keep the tone positive.
Keep reminding your kids about the good coming up. Perhaps they are soccer players and the town has camp opportunities or summer clubs. Maybe the schools offer a greater variety of after-school activities or the neighborhood has a swimming pool. Focus on the factors that build up excitement and not get drowned in the to-do lists.
Assign tasks like creating a moving-playlist and gathering car-snacks to the kids. Research landmarks you can see along the way or let them alternate turns of picking out where to eat. Keep the ride as lighthearted as possible amidst the tunes of “are we there, yet?”
When you arrive, have the kids unpack and decorate. Perhaps they can create door signs for their bedrooms with the flaps of moving boxes. Crank up the music while unpacking and take time to have dance parties, treats, hugs and chats. Snap pics and text them to their friends. Go for a walk and explore the neighborhood.
Just like when your babies become toddlers, sleep schedule matters. In times of stress, a consistent schedule helps all people move through change. Do your very best to get meals, bedtimes, and activities back on schedule. If you had a routine like Friday night movies, keep that going.
Pack a moving bag full of your kids’ favorites. You can even have a box that says your kiddo’s name and “open first” with items in it to bring comfort when they arrive in their new home. This extra detail allows good feelings to creep into the memory of the move.
When unpacking, hang pictures and put up bedding the kids had in their previous home. Move furniture as close to the same set up as possible. This creates a feeling of consistency and predictability amidst unfamiliar places. Make their immediate view as comfortable as possible.
Partner with a moving company
Moving day is going to create a plethora of activity. You are juggling not just yourself and the boxes but also the emotions and literal location of younger members of your family. Hiring a moving company creates a sense of relief.
Instead of worrying that your 18-month old snuck outside while you carried out the tv, take a step back and oversee the process. We are here to help you! The HomeTeam specializes in packing, moving and unpacking. We focus on the logistics so you can focus on what matters the most: your family.
Hop on over to The HomeTeam for a free moving estimate today!