Whether you’re getting ready for a domestic or international move, the preparation will involve many factors. Add children to the mix and you have exponentially many more things to deal with. Preparing for a move is never easy, and nothing can completely remove stress and unexpected events from the equation. However, here are a few tips to help you, as parents, as well as your kids, prepare for the BIG move you’ve been anticipating!
Tip #1: Let the kids take part in the planning. The scope of this varies by age, but it’s wise to allow children to take some ownership in the planning and decision-making process. The plans may already be in place – and we know the decisions will ultimately be made by you – but talking to your kids about where you’re moving to and asking their opinion will give them a stake in the planning and help them feel more dialed in.
Tip #2: Allow kids to participate in the process. During the moving process, it’s smart to have your children participate in the physical packing. For younger children, giving them a roll of tape and a box will provide them with a sense of ownership over their personal belongings, and kids feeling responsible for their own possessions works wonders. Ask them to pack a box and tell them to include what they’d really love to see and play with at their new home. This will hold them accountable to see the entire process through, as well as provide a sense of closure they may need.
Tip #3: Focus on similarities, then positive changes. Instead of continuing to describe everything that’s going to change for them, focus on the positives and similarities. Reassure them that they don’t need to worry! Let them know whether they’ll still have a shared room similar to their current situation, or that they’ll be getting their own room as a positive enhancement. These are things that we should lead with to provide comfort, not discomfort!
Preparing kids for a move is never black and white, and perhaps it’s really all gray. Kids are unpredictable but moving can be as well. There are bound to be hiccups and difficult situations that arise. It’s all about how we respond to these issues that helps us to accomplish a successful move. Keep your calm. Maintain a sense of normalcy as much as you can. It may take a bit of adjusting on the part of all parties involved but practicing these tips should ease the burden of moving your family!
Ashly Bloore is a freelance writer, licensed hairstylist, wife, and mom to three young boys. She also has an apparel design and merchandising degree.