Moving is generally an awful experience.
It’s a crazy process with a seemingly infinite to-do list that is only made remotely easy by hiring a moving crew. But that chaotic list exponentially grows when mixing toddlers and grade school children into the mix, and even small dilemmas can grow into huge headaches. Small kids live their lives through perennial stability introduced by their environment and guardians; once those factors change their emotional state and behavior change as well. But it doesn’t have to be too much of a headache.
By following a few simple tips, whether you’re moving into a new home in the same town, or across the country, the kids won’t be too much of a struggle and will hopefully have an easier time adjusting to their new home. These tips are time intensive, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time so you’re not rushing and sending negative vibes to your child, which would only make things worse.
Children need to be the center of attention.
The world truly does revolve around them in their minds. If this isn’t respected, they’re almost guaranteed to become rambunctious. And when you’re moving there are too many things going on to pay constant attention to your child’s whimsy. But by explaining what moving really means and including them in the process they’ll likely settle down.
The first thing to do is explain, as simply and thoroughly as possible, what moving means and what the process will entail. Be sure to answer any questions they may have honestly, and try to remain positive when they begin to object. Let them know that the move is happening in no uncertain terms, but make them think their input matters.
One way of letting your kid think they’re helping and that their input matters is to ask them to pack their own belongs like books, toys and clothes alongside you. This process is fairly simple and it will give them a deeper connection to the moving process. Sure, you’re more than likely going to need to repack everything they do, but making sure they’re comfortable is important to keeping their mental state healthy, and their tantrums silent.
If you think your child might have trouble adjusting to the idea of leaving the old house and embracing the new one, which many do at some point in the process, give them a shoe box and ask them to fill it with things they can directly relate to the previous location. Whether it’s a small rock collection, some sticks from a nearby tree or even a picture of the house or their friends, having these items will help them feel comfortable during the adjustment period.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Once you’ve arrived at the new house, strongly think about getting at least part of the kids’ room put together first before starting to work on the rest of the house. It may be a hassle upfront, but it will allow them to have a place of their own to stay in, and it will keep them out of your hair while you set everything up.
The time dedication it takes getting a new home comfortable and in living shape requires, you’ll likely be more distracted than usual. Depending on the severity of this, your kid might feel forgotten or neglected. Be sure to remind them that they’re the center of your life.
If your child had friends at the previous location they’re bound to be lonely soon after moving. Remind them that new friends will arrive, and discuss some of the new, exciting activities your family can now do. Go out and explore the new city, and give them input on where to go.
Finally, when your child does eventually start school it’s a good idea to tag along and meet all of their teachers. Try to do so before classes begin, so it gives you time to discuss any pressing matters without embarrassing your kid in front of their new peers.
Remember to set realistic expectations for the moving process. You, nor your child, are going to adjust perfectly. Every move has its hiccups. Let them come, and deal with them as they arrive.
Contributing Writer: Jaron Clinton