Are you getting ready to move? This is a stressful situation for any adult, but things get a little more complicated if you have children. Suddenly, you have to think not only about how the move is changing your life—but your children, too—and the move’s impact on them. This can sound stressful, but there are steps that you can make to ensure that moving with kids is stress-free. . . and maybe even fun!
Here are some suggestions that will work wonders:
1. Get Them Involved
Depending on how old your kids are, they might have their own opinions on the move. Some children may have resistance to leaving the only home that they have known, or the home that they feel comfortable in, which is entirely understandable. But, even if your child is resistant to the move, this does not mean that you should not be trying to get them involved. This may not always be easy, but the process will be smoother if they are working with you, rather than against you.
Try to think of some of the things that you can let them do in the home to contribute towards moving day. This will give them a sense of ownership and pride! This could be as simple as packing up their room, throwing away the things they don’t want, and carefully putting away the ones they want to keep.
2. Ask For Their Opinions
Another thing that you can try is to ask them their opinion on certain things. They did not have a say in the fact that you are moving, and this is already going to be difficult for them, so including them in other decisions could be what they need to feel better about the whole thing.
For example, you can try asking them if they think that you should get a new couch when you move to the new place or if the existing one is still good for the family. Or, you can ask them about what color they want to paint their new bedroom when they get there. It’s all about giving them choices and letting them voice their opinion! Keep in mind that just because they are kids, doesn’t mean that their voice should not be heard and that their opinion doesn’t matter.
3. Show Them Lists Of Jobs To Do
When your kids know what they are supposed to be doing, they will find it a lot easier to do those things. Clear expectations and instructions to follow helps create efficency within your home. It may be a good idea to write a list of the things that need to be done (this works so well for us!), and then show it to them letting them pick what they want to do next.
Start with something small, for example, packing a few bedroom boxes for pod storage in the short term. Or, cleaning one of the rooms in the house so that it’s completely ready. Thist short list, again, gives them clarity and the choice to be more involved.
4. Ask Someone To Look After Them On Moving Day
The most stressful point of a move is actually moving! It may be a good idea, especially depending on the age(s) of your children, to have a trusted person look after them. You’re going to have a lot on your mind that day. You’re going to be anxious and potentially feeling overwhelmed. The last thing that you want is to be worried about where your children are or what they’re doing.
Rather than starting the feelings of a new home with anxiousness or irritability, consider asking if someone you know will look after them during this crucial point of the move. That way, they can have fun (and maybe help, too!) without being too much. Once the (literal!) heavy lifting is over, you can bring the kids back and welcome them into their wonderful new home.
5. Make It Exciting
You may also want to think about making the move fun for your children! Although this time can be filled with stress (and quite a bit of work!), take time to make it fun, too. Perhaps you can visit a restaurant where you are going to live, or explore the area when you have free time. You could talk about areas of your home, too, like creating new ‘nooks’ for playtime or making a garden.
6. Be Productive With Your Time
When you’re moving with kids, it can feel like every second of your day is dedicated to the move. It shouldn’t be this way, though. You need down time and you need to have moments for simple check-ins with your kids.
Think about time-blocking, creating a schedule for different activities, or even using a productivity tracking tool. With a tracking tool, the software or app will allow you to set the right goals that you need and then ensure that you get everything done through the day related to your move. This can free up extra time in the evenings or whenever you are ready to have some fun with your kids.
Hopefully, in taking these steps to ‘ready’ your family for the move, it can be easier and more fun. Sometimes moving with kids can feel stressful, but if you take the time to create structure, balance, and joy, it will be an exciting and memorable time for your family!