Moving comes with a lot of stress, anxiety, and responsibility, now imagine adding a move with children to all that, definitely not an easy task. Moving is sometimes for the best and maybe a positive change for your whole family. It is undoubtedly a little more “hectic” when moving with children hence it is important to follow the tips for preparing your kids for a move. Make your whole family's mental health a priority during this big change.
We have looked at how to make moving stress-free. However, today we will be looking at a few tips that will help make your move with kids a little smoother and less stressful.
When you have finally decided on moving and have a plan in place, inform your children. Telling them about the move early will help prepare them mentally and cause less stress. If you decide to wait till the last minute, it may affect your kids in a bad way and they may end up feeling secluded and angry (we discuss this below). The sooner you tell them the better especially if your kids are in school. They will have to mentally prepare early for that major change in their lives.
Once you’ve decided on the moving date, let them know where you plan to move (city/state) and the area, schools, and malls. Share as much as you can with them so they get familiar with the new location too.
Although some parents may feel that telling their kids about a move early will cause anger and anxiety, when in fact, NOT telling them has a more negative impact than if you get them involved on time. Unless there’s a specific reason why you aren’t able to share the move with your children (because of work confidentiality), then we don’t see any harm in letting them know ahead of time.
Whether your kids take the news positively or negatively, you need to understand that they are also human and may not react the way you would expect them to, and understandably so. It is very difficult for anyone to accept change, especially moving to a different city, state, or country. It is therefore your responsibility as a parent to understand and listen to your children’s concerns.
A few stages of acceptance may occur during the moving process and these include:
Some kids make take the news very badly, they may not be happy about it at all and may start to act out. Anger can be expressed to their closest friends and/or to their parents. This stage is most likely caused by denial and getting out of their comfort zone. It’s therefore important for parents to understand their kid's behavior and to help redirect their anger elsewhere. This can be through a brisk walk, running, or a great dance workout while at the same time explaining to the child the positives of moving.
Moving causes anxiety and in some cases especially with children, it can cause depression. Moving to a new place, new school, and making new friends is not easy for everyone. When you've lived in a place for a while and know the ins and outs like the back of your hand, it is going to be hard to forget and to start afresh. Imagine how children feel when they need to let go of all that, never seeing friends every day, their favorite teacher, their favorite playground..whatever it is that they enjoyed or loved about the current location.
The impact of it on their mental health is a lot. As their parent, you need to fully understand and help them accept the situation and you can do this by talking to your children. You could also help by telling them to journal their feelings, this will help vent anger and feelings of resentment.
Your children may be in denial about the move. You may have told them on time to help prepare them, but some kids will be in denial because they don’t want to let go of what they know. They may start telling you that they don’t want to move or that they are not going anywhere. This is when you need to be there for them as this is part of their grieving during the move. Be there for your kids and help them understand that everything will be just fine.
Acceptance means your kids have dealt with their feelings of resentment and are slowly starting to accept the change. This is when you need to reinforce positive feelings and tell them happy thoughts about the new place. Show them all the good and they will eventually accept everything fully.
Familiarise your kids with their new neighborhood if possible, and help them adjust slowly so they know what to expect when the move finally comes. If that is not possible because of distance, then consider showing them pictures or videos of the neighborhood.
Buy a calendar or have your kids make their own. The more excitement you bring, the better it will be for them to accept the move. This can be a fun and creative way to get them excited about the move. Have them cross out days and do a countdown together. You could add a little more excitement by buying stickers and sticking them on. Kids love anything fun and this is a great way to get them involved in the process.
Once you’ve told your kids about the move, start involving them in any way possible, this will make them feel like part of the process and they can be more accepting of the change. Let them pack their favorite toys/things from the house and also allow them to give opinions on what they think they should take or leave behind. You can start helping them pack their room and have them keep the most meaningful things and also take a memory box with them.
When they finally settle in their new house, they’ll cherish all those memories and transition with ease into the new environment.
So moving day is finally here and you have a lot on your mind. Having a plan before the day helps prepare you for a smoother move. Planning also helps you organize responsibilities and will make sure that the day isn’t a disaster, especially with kids. You want it to be as stress-free as possible. Assign tasks to everybody in the house and remember that kids will always be kids; this means you need to be very patient.
A helping hand is always needed when moving, with or without kids. Ask for help from your loved ones. Family and friends will (in most cases) be willing to lend a helping hand. You could perhaps ask them to look after the kids while you pack especially if you have smaller children. Take full advantage of the help, it will make packing quicker. Remember to ask them on time so they avail themselves when moving day comes.
You will probably say your goodbyes to your friends, colleagues, and family. Your kids should also have the same opportunity. Allow them to say their goodbyes to friends. Go with them to school for moral support as this is a very emotional thing to do. Nobody wants to ever say goodbye to their friends.
Another thing you could do is have a little goodbye “party” or lunch (this is a great way to use some food items you can’t take with you). Invite close friends and family and your kids' friends. Take lots of pictures for good memories and have fun. Your kids will cherish that forever. It will help them feel at ease and ready them for what’s next.
Moving anywhere with children is always a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. We hope these tips will help prepare your family for the biggest change ahead. Understanding your children’s feelings and being patient during this process will relieve some anxiety. Always support your kids and get them involved. We can help make your move less stressful. Give us a call at (718) 619 4881. Capital City Movers is always available to answer all your moving questions and for a quote. Visit our website for more information.