When you’re moving with kids, there will be problems. No matter how hard you try to make them comfortable, they will have issues before, during and after the move. Though it’s okay if kids show a bit of animosity, it shouldn’t be something that becomes a part of their nature and authentic self. That said, you must remember that moving homes has never been and will never be easy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re moving across the street or to another state because even you, as an adult will experience mental stress. Because moving isn’t just something where you pack all your belongings and move out of the old house to a new one, it will emotionally influence both you and your family. This is why it is crucial that you learn about everything you should do to make the move a little easier on your kids and yourself.
Here are a few things you should consider when moving with kids.
1. Prepare Them for The Move
Perhaps the biggest mistakes you could make is not to tell your children about the move before you pack. Remember, kids are adults in the making and they are old enough to understand what’s happening.
That’s right. You need to explain that you’ll be moving out of the current home. If you have a toddler or preschooler, tell them a month ahead, so they have the time to process but don’t mull over it for weeks. Also, experts recommend that instead of telling them about the new things he/she will experience, tell them about the things which will remain the same. Kids find comfort in knowing their toys and belongings will accompany them to the new home so this is something you should do.
2. Allow them to Vent
It’s natural for a child to feel confused about a move, and this is when they will act up. By allowing their angst to come out, you are giving them a chance to become comfortable with the situations once they are done feeling angry about it. Though shifting houses should be no excuse for them to be bad-tempered, you should be ready for crying sessions and temper tantrums. Remember just like you take some time to adjust to a new job or house, your child is also feeling confused and stressed. So, instead of scolding them about their behavior, try to sit them down and talk to them about what they feel.
3. Practice What You Preach
Don’t ask your kids to adjust to the move unless you’re doing the same thing. Because children look to us for advice and action, you need to make sure you give off a positive vibe so they too can experience the same feelings. Instead of bad-mouthing your new home and thinking about everything you had in your old house, paint a picture where the place where you’re moving is wonderful. This way, your child will not only learn how to cope with his feelings by looking at you and your reaction but will also look forward to the move.
4. Make Them A Part of The Decisions
Whether you’re moving to NYC or another state, ensure that you make the kids a part of the decision. Though you don’t have to get their opinion about the house you should move into, let them make smaller decisions like which room to choose and other ‘small’ things. Let them decide about the color, type of rug they’d like in their room and even determine the furniture that will end up in their room. Though this seems like something minimal letting kids make small decisions on their own won’t only make them a lot more confident, but will also make them feel like they are a part of the group.
5. Stick to A Routine
One thing that children love is to depend on a routine that’s consistent. So, no matter how busy you get with the preparations for the move, you’ve to remember to stick to their habits. If your children are small and like to go through the routine of dinner, bath, PJs, story time and bed, do that. And if they are a little older and depend on meals and game nights for some much-needed family time, then don’t take that away because then it will like they have to give everything up for the move.
6. Make New Friends
Depending on your child, he may find it a little difficult to make new friends in the neighborhood or at school. A good way to get things started for them is to take them along when you go to meet your new neighbors. It can give you an excellent chance to meet some new people and for them to make friends. An added benefit of doing this is that you know and trust the families of your child’s friends, so you know they won’t get into trouble.
7. Expect Change in Behavior
Finally, remember there will slight changes in behavior both before and after the move. If your child is experiencing sleep disturbances, changes in appetite or tantrums and clinginess, know it is okay because it is your child’s way of coping.