For most people, moving is a part of life. We move with our parents, we move out on our own when we grow up, and we may even relocate for a job, a loved one, or just because we want to.
Moving on our own can be stressful – we all have ties to the community where we live.
However, moving whether it’s just up the road or moving interstate or long distance with children can add more stress and responsibility to the move.
Follow these 5 tips to help ease the stress of moving for both you and your children:
1) Talk to your kids
Regardless of how old your children may be, moving from one community to another will affect their lives.
It is important to let children know that they will be moving, and what that will mean for them.
Young children may have trouble understanding what a big move means. Remind them that you will be with them the whole way, as will any pets or other family members that are making the move with you. Tell them that they will still be able to stay in touch with friends in their old community through email or letter writing, but that they won’t get to see them as much because they will be making new friends.
Why not make a memory book – Photograph your house, their friends, favourite places to visit and create a scrapbook of memories that they can look back on once they have moved.
Older children may be angry about the move, especially if they didn’t have a say in the decision to move.
Set boundaries for travel back to their old hometown and explain to them that the move is for the best interest of your family as a whole. Remind your older children of the excitement of making new friends, and the opportunity to build the best life they can.
2) Let your kids say goodbye
It is important to let your children say goodbye to their current life. Small children may feel better if they write cards to their classmates, teammates or friends, or even have a special get together for their closest friends.
If you want, you can set a Skype date with some of your child’s friends or loved ones in your current town for your child to look forward to.
Older children can make their own goodbye plans, as long as you approve. Let them know that you are there to help if they need it, but make sure they have time to say goodbye to the most important people in their life. Encourage them to exchange email addresses, addresses, Skype IDs, or other social media accounts with their friends.
3) Allow your children to help in the move
If you have young children, assigning them tasks like throwing away the broken crayons, the textas that don’t work, or choosing toys they no longer play with allows them to be involved in the move.
You might even allow your child to choose his or her new room in your new home, and help decorate it.
Older children can help you with the packing process in a meaningful way. Have them start with their own belongings, so they know where their things are. Allowing older children to choose and decorate their new room can help them with the move as well.
4) Map it out
Showing them a photo of your new home can help them begin to get excited and see the new place as home. Placing it on a map can help children understand where your new home is located, whether it’s the next state over, across the country or even overseas.
Older children may be excited to see landmarks or fun activities near the new home, whether it’s the beach, hiking trails, a library, or anything else that interests them.
Printing maps and allowing the children to decorate or mark them can help them make the new house feel like home.
5) Keep their routines
All children like routines. Keep your child’s old routine as long as possible, and encourage them to create a similar one at the new home.
If your child played football or was a member of a diving team in your old town, consider finding one for them to join in your new community.
However, moving day should be special; consider ordering in a family dinner or walking to a nearby restaurant for your first night. You may not have furniture set up right away, so give the children the option of sleeping anywhere they like in the new home, in a sleeping bag, for the first night.
Have you got any tips to add that have worked for you? Please SHARE in the comments below.