Moving from your home to another can be a daunting task, especially if you’re moving to a new city. Personal items can get lost or broken, heavy items can cause bodily injury, and your current furniture may not work in your new home. In addition, if you have kids, they may have their own worries, which can add another element of stress to the moving process.
As the weather warms up, and it gets closer to the end of the school year, more families will endure the moving process. If you’re moving with children here are some tips that may help.
1. Break the news gently. As adults, we often hear the phrase “change is good.” While that may be the case, trying to explain a job promotion to children can be difficult. When it comes time to talk to your kids about moving, make it a fun event. Take them to their favorite restaurant or park. Gradually work the idea of moving into the conversation. Talk about the new fun things you’ll be able to see and do in your new city.
2. Continue the conversation and planning with them. After you’ve introduced them to the idea of moving, keep them in the conversation. Talk to them about packing, colors for their new room, and meeting new friends. By keeping them in the conversation, you’ll be able to identify things that may trigger anxiety for them. This will allow you to talk to them about what is making them anxious. This is a much healthier approach than having them keep their emotions all “bottled up”.
3. Try not to deviate from normal schedules. Life can get hectic prior to the big move. Family dinners and bedtime schedules are often overlooked. Do your best to keep a bit of normalcy in your daily schedule. If Thursday night is family night, keep it on the schedule.
4. Keep in touch with family and friends. Today’s technology makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family from afar. Develop a plan or talk to your kids about how they can stay in contact with family members and friends.
5. Take plenty of pictures. Before you move, take plenty of pictures of friends, your home, and other places that have created family memories. These pictures can be helpful during the transition to your new home, especially if you’ve moved to a new city. External hard drives and cloud storage make it easy to store photos. In addition, consider sharing pictures of your new home ahead of the move.
6. Make introductions. After you get settled into your new neighborhood, introduce your family to your neighbors. This makes it a lot easier for your kids to make new friends.
7. Spend adequate time at their new school. When it comes to moving, starting at a new school is probably the scariest element for them. Simple things like whom will they sit with at lunch or play with at recess can be overwhelming. Make sure you spend adequate time with their teachers and administrators. Tour the school frequently so they’re comfortable when the first day of class arrives.
8. Keep their favorite items close. Pack a small bag or suitcase with their favorite items. This can help keep them comfortable on long car or plane rides, as well as during an overnight hotel stay.