Moving with kids is a milestone that can be a challenge at the best of times. The idea of moving may be familiar to you, but to your kids, it can be a new, scary and anxious experience. Below outlines our best advice for moving house with kids; a baby, a young child and a teenager.
All parents know the rollercoaster that comes with raising a baby. Now throw in moving to a new house, and you’re at a whole other level. You’re already neck deep in boxes and paperwork, so stress is at the max. What’s the magic secret every other family knows about, and you don’t? How do they stay sane and have it all sorted out? There might not be a perfect solution, but there are some useful tips to make you and your little ones travel happier.
Maintain their routine
Babies benefit greatly from a set routine, and it’s in your best interest to stick to it. Child psychologist Danielle Kaufman insists that “Building routines with your children helps them feel safe.” It promotes trust and reassurance, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
When juggling your already busy life of work and baby, deadlines will creep up on you fast. Plan an 8-week calendar and start your packing early. Set specific goals, and the things that don’t get used regularly can be packed away first. Doing this, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made progress, and there will less to panic over by the end.
Pack the Nursery Last
For a baby, routine is centred around their nursery. Leave their area as late as you can, so they can feel secure for as long as possible. They can become confused and disoriented if their room is picked apart before their eyes. Try to keep their world as normal as possible, and when moving day rolls around, arrange alternative care.
Maybe your kids are past the crying and crawling, but that doesn’t mean a plan isn’t needed. Young kids, as you would be well aware, are full of energy and curiosity. Making sure they are clued in on what’s happening and why is important. Involve them in as much as possible, so they can feel proud to have been a part of such a big change in their life.
Visit/Talk About the New House
If it is their first move and they don’t know exactly what moving to a new house means for them, it is crucial to shape their views positively. Reinforce that moving is a good thing and support them by telling them all the good that comes with it. A cool new room, a bigger play area or even a housewarming reward will create a positive attitude toward this big change. As well as talking about the move, it’s important to brace them for the new environment by visiting the new house and neighbourhood if possible. Getting them as familiar as possible with their new home allows them to feel confident and at ease. Try visiting things around the area too, like playgrounds or libraries, so they already have a positive attitude before you move in.
It’s important not to introduce other big changes on top of moving, as this only deepens your child’s confusion. Sticking to what they’re used to is the best way for the transition to their new home to be as smooth as it can be. If they’re close to needing toilet training, for example, hold off a month or two until they’ve settled in. The goal is to create a sense of safety and familiarity, because that’s what a home is for. Ensuring this safety is created as early as possible is goal number one.
Let Them be Involved
A great way to create a sense of confidence and ownership of the move is to involve your kids as much as possible. Pack with them and allow them to see it as an exciting opportunity. Give them the control of packing their own things so that when it comes time to unpack, they are familiar with where everything is. If they’re good, you may even save some time and effort as a bonus. When unpacking, work with them by your side and let them pick where their things go. Again, inspiring confidence and control is the goal, so allow them every opportunity to familiarise themselves.
Moving with older kids and teenagers can be easier in ways, and harder in others. On one hand, they’re another set of hands and can take care of a lot of tasks themselves. On the other, the stress and emotional whiplash can be a lot to handle, especially if they have to leave a school and friends behind.
Talk Through it Thoroughly
They’re not little kids anymore (or so they claim) so treat them like an adult when explaining the move. Go through every detail as to why you have to move and make them feel as though they’re not in the dark. It may be tough to explain, but they will cooperate and support you if you do the same for them. Be open and honest about your feelings and encourage them to do the same. This way, they feel like they’re on your team and are encouraged to give their input.
Involve them in Decisions
If their world of school and friends is being ripped away, they will feel helpless, and emotionally drained. Give them opportunities to make decisions about the move, like looking at potential properties with you and discussing what new school might suit them. They may not be enthusiastic about it, but the opportunity to at least speak their opinion can inspire some confidence if they know you’re on their side.
Moving is n overwhelming task on its own. But moving with a kid, whether that be a baby, young child or teenager, can be a seemingly impossible, hair-pulling task. But it is possible. Moving doesn’t have to be a scary thing, and using every opportunity to create a positive attitude is the best thing to ensure both you and your kids get there in one piece. Patience, flexibility and optimism can go a long way, and we are confident you can look back on your move and know it was all worth it. Palmers Relocations can help you by making your move easy and stress-free so you can focus on what matters.