Packing up your life is stressful but becomes more complicated when you have children. They feel the changes more acutely as they are leaving everything familiar. Imagine reading those stories about going to magical places as you see your favorite things being packed away in boxes but not knowing if the story has a happy ending. It can be terrifying! There are ways to soften the transition however.
Share the news!
As soon as you know, let them know. The earlier they know the better. Call a family meeting, make it fun and order take out. Explain why you are moving if you feel it is appropriate. Be aware of your children’s temperaments as you are explaining what it means to move as some will react differently. Engage them with questions and encourage them to share their opinions. Keeping routines is important while packing. Meal times, bed times, and even chores are comforting rituals and help kids feel safe.
Let the kids do as much as possible to help. Moving is a great time to de-clutter. A fun project to have them work on is to go through their room and pick out things they could donate. This not only teaches them to give to others, but it will help clean out old toys that they don’t play with anymore (and you don’t have to pack!)
To get your kids excited about the new house, have them help with decorating ideas. Take a trip to the store and look at paint swatches. If your children are older, give them a room decor budget and let them take care of their own rooms.
If you already have a school chosen, visit their website with your kids and let them look at it. Sometimes teachers have their own webpage and tell a little bit about themselves. See if their campus has a social media account with pictures and news about activities.This will help your kids visualize what is coming and a new school won’t seem so strange and foreign.
Get to learn about your new neighborhood and community. Go online together and look up local events and organizations. Once you move, play “tourist” in your new town. See the sights, eat at local restaurants, and plan to attend a local outing.
See You Soon
Goodbyes are hard and for children who think they will never make new friends, it can be brutal. Lessen the anxiety and have a big party. Let them know that it’s not goodbye, just “See you soon!”