Whether you’re relocating across the country or just across town, moving can be an incredibly stressful experience, especially when children are involved. After all, any time you uproot children or teenagers from their familiar surroundings, the situation can become difficult for the whole family. Fortunately, there are a number of things you could do, both before and after the move, to lessen your children’s anxieties and alleviate their fears. To help you out, here are some ways to make the transition into your new home as seamless as possible for both you and your family:
Prepare your kids
It’s very easy to leave children out of the conversation, especially when there’s already so much stuff that needs to be done. However, unlike sneaking hidden vegetables into their dinner, it’s best not to sneak kids into the new house and just hope they don’t notice. Change and upheaval can be quite upsetting for a lot of children, but that can be helped by telling them what is going to happen from start to finish. If you talk with your kids about the move a month of two in advance, they will have time to think about it, but not get worried. You may feel like you’re giving them hard answers, especially if the move will involve a new school and new friends, but honesty truly is the best policy.
Visit your new neighbourhood
If it’s possible, take your children to see their new house and familiarize themselves with the neighbourhood before the final move. Take them for a walk around the block, introduce them to their new school and sign them up for their usual activities in the new place. A bit of familiarity can help children feel less apprehensive and alleviate their fears of moving. It is also very important to remind them that they don’t necessarily have to cut ties with their old neighbourhood – you can schedule playdates with their current friends for after the move and keep their daily routines as similar as possible to what they are now.
Moving day can be quite chaotic, but the more organized you can get before the move, the more smoothly it will go. If you can, give yourself two or three months to plan the move – make a list of everything that needs to be done, and divide those tasks up so that the list is shorter and shorter every week. While there will always be some last minute changes and problems on top of all the things you already have to deal with, having a detailed plan will help you tackle them more quickly and efficiently. Including your children in your plan is always a good idea, as it helps keep them in the loop and feel actively involved in the process of moving.
Choose the best moving option
While hiring a full-service moving company may seem like a good option, when you’re moving with children, it may be best to simply opt for Budget truck rental. Instead of being constricted to a tight schedule, renting a moving truck will give you more freedom to move at your own pace, which can be quite helpful when you have small children. As you won’t have to depend on other people, you can organize the moving day according to your own needs, and by renting a truck you may even save a couple of hundred dollars in moving and transport costs. What’s more, you will have the freedom of turning the process of packing, driving and moving into a fun, bonding activity you can do as a family, thus helping your child feel more positive about the whole experience.
Get settled in
Once all the moving and unpacking is complete, your kids will need to settle in. While moving can be exciting, now is the time when young children will realize that they’re not going back to their old home. So, in order to make the new space more comfortable, make sure to unpack your kids’ rooms first and make it as familiar as possible with their favourite bedding and stuffed toys. Try to play lots of games, such as tag or hide and seek, that will encourage your children to explore the new house. As they deal with the stress of the move, you can expect some tears and tantrums over the first few weeks, or even months. This is quite a normal reaction and the best way to deal with it properly is to create a safe space for them where they can talk about their feelings, and make sure they’re meeting lots of kids their own age.
Moving with children is much more different and more stressful than moving alone. But, by using the abovementioned tips, you’ll be able to reduce the stress involved and make the move go smoothly for the whole family.