Moving is tough but moving with kids presents its own set of challenges. Your children may feel helpless and nervous or act distant, knowing that they're about to say goodbye to their school, neighborhood and friends. If you're moving with children and want to make the transition easier on them and your entire family, approach the situation calmly and keep everyone involved.
- Make your children feel like they are important decision makers in the process. Call a family meeting, tell them about the new move and express your excitement. Have them share their feelings and concerns, and let them know that you're all in this together.
- Let your children give feedback on your new home. Show them pictures of the house, the neighborhood and any nearby attractions. Make the move seem even more appealing by sharing all the great things they will have access to in your new city.
- You'll need help figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of. Get your children to help decide what stays and what goes. You could also throw a yard sale and let the kids keep the money they earn from selling the things they don’t want to keep.
- Get imaginative. Map out the children's rooms before you go. Have them come up with the colors for the walls or any themes that get them excited about moving.
- Take your children to their favorite places one final time, and order delivery at your favorite pizza restaurant on the night before you leave.
- Have your children create a memory book. They can fill it with photos of their room, pets, and friends. Be sure to get contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses so they can stay in touch.
- Visit the new house before you move. Doing this reduces the shock of moving into a strange place and gets your children excited about making it their own. You can also use this time to tour the city and find all the popular attractions.
- Say goodbye to your old home. Talk about all the memories that you've had there and all the new memories that you plan to make after you move.
- Throw a farewell party for your children. It will give them the opportunity to say their goodbyes and help them adjust to moving without unfinished business.
- Create a memory box. Pack it with pictures and important items from your old home, and give it to your children. They can keep it close to them on the ride to your family's new home.
The uncertainty of a move can have everyone on edge but even more so for children. By taking steps to make them feel like they are part of the decision making process you can ease the stress and make it a fun new adventure for everyone.