Looking for helpful ideas on how to move with kids? Whether you have a toddler, tween, or teenager, moving with kids adds even more to-do items to your relocation checklist. Check out these tips and tricks in our guide to minimize anxiety and ease the transition when moving with children.
Talk to Kids Now
Figuring out how to tell your child you’re moving is a daunting task. As soon as you know the details of when and where you’re going, talk to your kids. Even if they’re too young to really understand what’s happening, start including exciting tidbits about their new home or fun activities to look forward to. Be sure to include these points:
- Explain why you’re moving
- Share the moving timeline
- Give reasons why this will be exciting
- Reassure them that any emotions coming up are okay
- Let them ask questions
Include Your Child in Decisions
“Moving can be an emotional time, especially for kids,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. “From new surroundings to potentially new schools and new friends, there’s quite a bit they have to process. One tip we recommend is keeping the kids involved throughout the moving process to make them feel like they are a key part in what’s happening. From helping with packing to making decisions on their new room, getting to meet the movers, and assisting with reasonable tasks, it will keep them engaged and ease the transition.”
Do Research on New Schools Early
There’s really nothing bigger for kids than switching schools. Begin researching the school with your child long before moving day. That way, your kids can get comfortable with their new environment. Look up the school mascot and colors, check out photos of the school, and don’t forget to sign up for orientation so your child can get a walk-through of their new school before the first day.
Over-Prepare for Military Moves
Being detail-oriented is important moving advice for anyone. But if you’re a military parent, being meticulous and knowing every detail is key to helping put your kids at ease. Because the effects of moving on military families can be heightened, minimizing any confusion about moving can help your children feel safer. Prepare with this PCS overseas checklist and utilize these handy moving tips from military spouses to make sure your family is ready for anything!
Gift a Moving Book
Help your child get a better understanding of what’s happening with a gift. From picture books about moving for toddlers to transition books for preschoolers, these 10 books about moving can help kids make sense of what’s happening. If you’re not sure what to say, this is a great way to ensure you’re including relevant talking points while also building excitement for the big move!
Stick to Their Routines
One idea for helping a child cope with moving is to stick to schedules as much as possible! While their school, city, and friends are going to change, there’s no reason their bedtime or morning routine needs to. Maintaining the status quo up until moving day can help them hold onto some normalcy. If possible, try sticking to their regular schedules on travel days and once you arrive at your new home, too!
Turn Packing into a Game
Especially if you’re packing for a long distance move, you’re probably taking relocating your home very seriously. But why not have a little fun along the way? Pretend the floor is lava, and the couch cushions are the only safe place. See who can find and retrieve any orange items in a game of “I Spy.” Send kids on a treasure hunt for something you need to box up down the hall. Turning your moving checklist into a game is an easy way to get kids involved and help them feel a little better about the move.
Consider Hiring Professionals
Should your family hire professional movers? If you’re moving across the country, it might be worth it to make your move hassle-free. Professionals can take a lot of stress and work off your plate, which means you’ll have more time to spend with your family and soothe any negative feelings your kids have.
Designate a Kids Box
If you’re packing up a moving truck for a long distance move, be sure to set aside a box of important items just for your kids that can come with you in the car. Include your child’s favorite blanket, book, and any other toys that could keep them occupied during the drive. (Families who are flying to their new homes should keep these items in carry-on luggage to make sure they’re easily accessible.) Having all the right things nearby is an extra important tip for moving out of state with kids, as travel time can get long when tensions are already high.
Set Up Kids Rooms First
Looking for ideas on how to help your child with moving anxiety? Once you get to your new home, unpack and set up their rooms first. Bringing familiarity immediately into this new space will help them relax and feel safe. Try hanging up their wall decor or putting their favorite stuffed animals on the bed right away to create a room that feels like home for them.
Get Involved in Activities
Wondering how to help your child adjust to moving? Give them something to look forward to! Sign them up for a new sport, dance class, or violin lessons to get them involved and keep them occupied. Local clubs, classes, and events are also helpful because they can help your child find friends before school starts.
One of the best pieces of moving advice is to be patient. With any big life transition, kids may be more prone to emotional outbursts or developmental regressions. Helping a toddler adjust to moving could include being prepared for more tantrums or even a return to diapers. No matter what comes up, try to remember how big and scary this can feel to a child.
Let Go of Guilt
Rather than researching the worst age to move a child and scouring the internet for the effects of relocating on kids, start focusing on the positive! While it’s good to create space for your children to feel their feelings and voice how they’re struggling, making yourself miserable with guilt doesn’t help anyone. Focus on making the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
Take Care of Your Own Needs
Don’t forget to prioritize your own needs and happiness. Because children often mirror their parents, if you’re adjusting to a new city well, their transition will likely go smoother as well. While the bulk of your attention may go to minimizing any moving difficulties for your kids, taking care of yourself is also incredibly important to their well being.
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