Moving with kids can be a tricky process. How will your child react to the big change and how can you support them throughout the process? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make things run smoothly.
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Supporting Your Child Through the Move
Moving with kids is a big change, but being mindful of your child’s role in the process can make things much smoother:
Talk through the details — Your little ones will likely have a lot of questions running through their minds, especially if this is their first time moving to a new home. Try to talk through everything you do. Talk about buying your new home and all the fun features it will have. Mention how selling your old house means another family gets to create memories in all your spaces. Talk about the boxes, the trucks you will put them into, and the fact that everything in your current home will go with you to the next one. Remind your children that everyone will be together still — only the walls, windows, and doors around them will change.
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Involve them in the process — Kids of all ages love to help, and it makes them feel more involved in the process, too. Let your child pack up their toys — choosing which ones they would like to bring with and which they feel could be donated before the move. Take a drive past the new house to show them what to expect or play at a playground that just might turn into your new summer hangout spot. As your child plays an active role in the move, they will begin to understand and may even feel the change is partly their choice, too.
Stay positive — Moving with kids is stressful but try not to show the negative sides to your child. Keep them excited about the change to avoid bringing up the tougher emotions that can come along in the process. For kids, moving can be fun! Boxes to play with, new rooms to decorate, and new neighborhoods to explore are all worth highlighting when things start to feel down.
Age-Based Tips to Try
Different age groups can react to the big move in different ways. Here are some specific tips to try with children of various ages:
Babies and Toddlers — Try to keep your routine the same, as the youngest children thrive on knowing what comes next. Consider setting up their room in the new home first, so they have a place to call their own from the start (and a place to nap after a long day of moving). Try to keep a few familiar smells, too, possibly on sleep sacks, sheets, or blankets. The smell of a new home can bring up sleep troubles as babies and toddlers adjust to the big change.
Preschoolers and Young Children — Make it fun! Create some games to get boxes out and build a fort with the leftovers as you arrive at your new space. Take time to answer all the questions — even though your child may have a thousand. These wonders will help them understand the process that is taking place before their eyes!
Older Children — Do not take it personally if your child is upset about the move. It is hard for kids to leave their friends, their school, and the space they have grown up in all this time. Remind them that you will be able to visit, call, or send mail to their friends often, and that their “goodbyes” will not need to last forever. Try to induce some excitement with new room decoration, too. A space of their own can be helpful as they navigate the tough feelings that come along with a move.
Even if moving with kids is difficult, they will eventually adapt to the change — possibly even quicker than you would expect. Try out some of the tips above to make the process easier, more fun, and maybe even a little bit exciting. New homes are awesome, after all!
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