Moving is full of both excitement and stress. Add kids into the mix and it can quickly seem too overwhelming a task. From monsters to new friends kids have a whole set of fears that adults often can’t relate to or simply choose not to. Yet by not acknowledging these fears we open the door for arguments and meltdowns; soon the walls of our new home are quickly shadowed by the sounds of anger and frustration.
My own family recently moved into a new house and even though the process was planned out carefully our children did have some slight emotional and behavior issues because of it. At the end of the night nothing was too extreme and now the children are running from room to room almost unfazed by the fact we are in a house different than the one they grew up in. Luckily if you are in a place where you are planning a move with young kids I can offer some tips for moving with kids, especially young kids. My own children are ages two and four and while we are blessed to be moving before they start school that does not been the move was completely unnoticed.
Tips For Moving With Kids
- Introduce Over Time
- The fact that we were able to do this has been perhaps the greatest blessing to us. As adults we can see the changes taking place and we have time to prepare both financially and mentally. Yet, as much as we plan our children often are not in the planning process with us and to some degree their lives are being ripped out from under their feet. Introducing the move over time serves as a reminder that something is changing but that us, as the parents will be there for the entire transition.
- Pack At A Pace
- Have you ever packed up a bag of old toys for a donation pile? With my own children they may have not touched a toy in months, even years and yet packing that toy into a box or bag to give away is equivalent to pulling wisdom teeth out with no medication. Not a pretty picture, so imagine packing up all of the toys, especially the favorite toys in one clean sweep. Not a smart idea. Go in slowly, a little at a time and explain that they will get them back soon and that they are not in trouble. No action of theirs has caused you to take their toys away.
- Plan For New Adventures
- This one is so needed. Ask your kids what they would like to do once they move into the new house. Talk to them about where a play set may go or go online and map out how close you will be to a favorite destination. Have a conversation with them about whether or not there will be new kids in the subdivision or if you are moving to a piece of land discuss adventures of riding bikes, exploring the woods or building a tree house. It’s so important to the entire family that the new house is looked at with adventure in mind.
- Unpack Their Rooms First
- Yes, unpacking the toys before the pots, pans and measuring cups may seem a little stupid but in all reality it’s not. Suddenly the house has their items in it and it becomes their house. There will be time to search for dishes after they have their toys back but trying to cook that first meal while they cry because they don’t like the house will be a nightmare. Toys first. Then necessities.
- Add Familiarity Next
- This almost goes hand in hand with the last point but it needs to be restated because familiarity goes beyond beds and toys. Add your old mantel decor or put up some old pictures. Not everything in a new house needs to be new. If it is, then it is just a house, adding the familiarity is what helps make that house a home. So yeah, you may want new towels but your kids may prefer the comfort of the old worn out towel that first time taking a bath in a “strange new place”.
- Let Them Pick Out Paint Colors For Their Room
- This can be part of the excitement of the new house, especially if you were renting a house before. It’s just paint and paint can be repainted. Let the kids have fun in the new house. You may not enjoy a deep sea water theme for a bedroom but to your kid that could be the best idea ever. You have plenty of other rooms to worry about, the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, your bedroom and any extra rooms. Let the kids be in charge (to some degree) of their bedrooms.
- Visit At Different Hours Of The Day
- Honestly, this one did not occur to me until that first time we dropped stuff off a night. We had been to the new house a handful of times already but it was always during the same hours of the day. The first time we came at night the house was suddenly “scary” and had “monsters”. We made it a point to visit at different times each time after that.
- Set Clear Rules And Boundaries
- This is particularly true if the layout of your house is different than the one you were living in before. For instance, our old house did not have a raised floor of rock around the fireplace. It was flat and if they fell, they fell. Now, the kids have to be slow near the fireplace because it’s raised rocks. Also, we now have a stair case, a large stair case. It’s so important to not only set new rules and boundaries but also to be consistent. Kids will push the limits, it’s what they do.