With the right attitude anything is possible, right? You can go into even the biggest of challenges and come out ahead by choosing to focus on the positives. If you have an upcoming move with children in tow, it could pay off to approach this stressful, and often chaotic, task with that type of perspective. After all, moving is difficult on kids, especially school-aged children. They can be affected by the changes of moving, both little and small, more than you might initially think.
Below, we’ll go over a few ways to make the transition to a new home easier and more exciting for the whole family.
Get Started Early
If you want the move to go smoothly, beginning the process as soon as possible is key. That includes sharing the news with the kiddos. Begin by giving an age-appropriate explanation behind the move, the expectations on changing schools and so on. Make sure the kids have a chance to ask questions and voice concerns. It’s important to react to any anxieties calmly, listen to their perspectives and be empathetic to the big emotions they’re feeling.
You also want to get a move on with all the other aspects of moving well in advance if possible. Start by researching professional movers and enlisting the services of a reliable moving company. Once you have the date and time scheduled, you can begin decluttering and packing the nonessentials. Depending on their level of enthusiasm, ask the kids to pack or assign another task to help them feel like part of the team.
Consider Making Moving Into a Game
Similar to assigning tasks, it can be constructive to create roles for the kids like it’s a game. You could take it a step further and make it a competition, such as who can donate the most unwanted toys or clean their rooms the quickest. While this strategy may work easier on Moving Day when there’s so much to get done, it may still be effective leading up to and following the move.
Plan a Trip to the New Place
Often, it’s the unknowns of moving that’s scariest for kids. By taking the whole family for a tour of the new house or visiting for the weekend if it’s in an unfamiliar city, it could help them better process this major life change. You could walk the neighborhood, explore the school (with permission) or check out the parks and other nearby kid-centered attractions for an exciting look at what lies ahead.
Help the Kids Gain a Sense of Control
Generally, the decision to move was not one the children helped make. It’s because of this they may feel lost, left out or reluctant to participate. To combat these feelings, you should discuss the move as a family and allow everyone to contribute their input. This helps them gain a sense of control. So too does planning out their own rooms. If in the budget, let your kids shop for décor, design the layout or even just pick the paint color. That way, they’ll feel like they have more ownership of their space.
Say Goodbye to the Old and Hello to the New
Although it may seem sad, it’s healthy to give children opportunities to say goodbye. Whether you plan to throw a moving away party, take pictures with all the friends they’re leaving behind or simply let them walk through the empty house, these acts can provide closure. Another idea is to take one last trip to your kids’ favorite spots. It could be a family-themed restaurant, a nearby park or any sort of location they will miss after the move.
On the other side of this same coin, it’s important to say hello to all the new things. You could introduce your children to neighbors once you’ve gotten a good read on them or try out a new place to eat. The key is to direct their focus onto the positives and find ways to make this adventure into one that’s exciting, not a negative one.
Author bio: Stan Caramalac is the founder and CEO of Move Central. He started the company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He strives to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Caramalac and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area.