Moving to a new house can be a stressful process, whether you’re headed across town or across the country. This stress can be compounded further when kids are involved.
Although moving can be a sad and even scary experience for children, it doesn’t have to be. By taking the right steps, moving can be a manageable and positive experience for kids and parents alike.
By far the most important thing in helping kids have a positive moving experience is keeping them in the loop. Even if you think they might respond negatively, it’s best to inform children about an upcoming move earlier rather than later, so they have time to get used to the idea and work through any difficult emotions.
Children can sometimes go through drastic emotional responses when faced with the reality of moving away from their current home, school, and friends. But giving them more information, talking about it frequently, and allowing them to be active and involved in the process can help alleviate those feelings of fear. Giving plenty of heads-up is a good rule to follow even for small children who may not be able to fully understand the situation.
If it’s possible during the house-hunting process, it may be beneficial to bring the kids with you to open houses and home showings, letting them see the layout of the potential new homes so they can envision your new life there. With this, try to arrange visits beforehand to their new school, neighborhood parks, or local restaurants or attractions so they can have some positive experiences to associate with the new location. If an in-person visit isn’t feasible, share photos or maps with the child so they can start to develop their own concept of where they’ll be moving to.
Packing can be a fun and exciting activity for children. For an older child, you may be able to put them in charge of packing up a specific room, for example, or designate them the official box-labeler. Both of these jobs will give feelings of control and involvement. Younger children can hand you their toys or stuffed animals to put in the box. For toddlers, you may want to explain to them that the toys will be there waiting for them at the new house, so they don’t feel like they’re saying goodbye to their possessions forever.
If you want to save time and take the hassle out of the packing process, consider hiring a local moving company like Slater Transfer and Storage to provide professional help with some or all of the job.
As your family prepares to say goodbye to your current home, it can be helpful for children to get some closure with this place that has played a significant role in their lives. Take photos of your home and spend time as a family sharing some favorite memories from the house. It may be easier for children to move on if they feel like they’ve been able to say an adequate goodbye.
Moving day can be hectic and rushed. Because of the chaos often associated with this day, it may be worth it to arrange childcare for toddlers or babies, arrange for a visit with friends or relatives, or at the least put them in a Pack ‘n Play or something similar to keep them safe and contained (and out of your hair!).
Older children may want to help carry boxes—if this is the case, ensure they have access to lightweight boxes that are safe for them to lift and carry. If they’re not interested in being part of the moving crew, have some activities on hand to keep them busy, such as coloring books, a new movie, or an iPad.
It’s also important to stay positive. Sadness is normal with any big life change, but children need to know that you’re excited about the new location so they can be, too. Remember, the less stress you have on moving day, the less stress and fear your children will experience.
For those located in the areas of St. George, Utah, Las Vegas, Nevada, or Albuquerque, New Mexico, take the stress out of moving by enlisting the help of Slater Transfer and Storage. We are a full-service moving company that can help you move faster and easier with less of the hassle. Let us take care of logistics so that you can focus on what’s most important when it comes to starting life in a new location. Contact us today for a free quote!