Moving is difficult on everyone, and that includes your children. Whether moving in the neighborhood or to another province altogether, it can be tough for children to understand and get on board with the process. However, there are some things you can do to make your children a part of the process and take away some of the anxiety about moving.
Prior to Long Distance Moving
- Have a family meeting. You can order the children’s favorite dinner and have a conversation. Explain why you’re excited about the move and why it is happening. Let them express their own opinions. You can encourage them and help them work through their emotions. Letting them know they’ll have a part in the move can give them some excitement over the move itself.
- Let them help. If you haven’t chosen the new house yet, let them help with that. Get some feedback and let them see options, if possible. You can have them share what they like most about each house and take that into consideration. You can also throw a party once the decision is made to keep the mood joyful.
- Plan new rooms. Nothing makes kids more exciting than choosing how to set up a new room. Let them pick out room colors or pieces of furniture they will enjoy, like a sportscar bed or a bean bag chair. Give them something to look forward to as the days go on. If the children are older, give them a budget and let them choose some things on their own.
During the Move
- When the movers come on the big day, let the children meet them. Movers will usually be happy to meet the children or any pets before starting in on the big work. They’re there to help with your stress as much as they are to move your belongings. Your children will likely be less anxious after they have met the team and see they are there to help.
- Include the kids. Often, they want to have some part in the process, so find ways that allow them that while also keeping them out of the way. You could allow them to do a bit of sweeping or dusting as things are moved to the truck. Or have them fetch glasses of water for the movers. They’ll be doing something helpful but won’t be making things more stressful.
- If your children are old enough, make sure they have some activities to do while the moving is happening. This may not be a big deal if you’re moving down the street but if it’s farther than that, pack up some coloring books or favorite toys for the younger ones to enjoy while the drive is happening.
- Let your children pack up a backpack or tote bag with things to comfort them on moving day. Include their teddy bear or favorite blanket so they can self-soothe as the process goes on. The move is likely to be hard on everyone and children especially so this is crucial for a longer move.
- Once you’re all set up, remember that unpacking can take some time. The whole family can make an afternoon of it by exploring the area nearby. If you have teenagers, let them find some things nearby of interest, like arcades, malls, or pizza restaurants.
- There are likely to be neighbors around with children in the area, so it’s always an excellent idea to meet some of the people in your neighborhood. Introduce your children and you could have a hand in providing them with a new friend, or at least someone who helps them out around the neighborhood.
- For those who are school age, moving to a new school can be stressful and scary. Take the time to take your kids to the school so they can check out the building, meet the administration, and even join some extracurricular activities.