Most adults rate moving as one of life’s most stressful events. Imagine how much harder it is for kids to change addresses, schools and friends.
Because the home is a special source of security and comfort for children, many families may experience concerns about leaving their familiar surroundings. Although parents understand why moving may be necessary, the reasons might not be clear to your children.
Here are some simple steps that can help to ease your children’s fears and make the whole moving process as easy as possible.
Hold a family meeting
Break the news about the move to everyone in the family together. Make sure your children understand that the move is a positive event for the whole family. Be ready to answer questions about the how, where, when and why of the move.
Get kids’ input on choosing your new home
Ask the kids what they’d like in an ideal new home. A separate bedroom for each child? A bigger yard? Close enough to walk to school? Near a park or pool? Choosing a new home that fulfills at least some of their wishes will help them see the advantages of moving and give them something to look forward to.
If possible, involve children in the house-hunting process. When searching online, you can let kids take virtual tours of available homes. Your teenager might even do some of the searching for you. After you’ve settled on the top two or three homes, visit them as a family if you can.
Once you’ve settled on a home, get children involved in decorating their rooms. Bring home paint swatches and shop together for curtains and bed linens. Let them create a room plan on graph paper to decide where their furniture should go.
Involve kids in the moving process
Even very young children can help sort their toys, clothes, and other belongings, deciding what to keep and what they’ve outgrown. Many children enjoy decorating and labeling their own boxes and packing their belongings. It’s a good idea to give young children a small box or suitcase to fill with their favorite belongings. Having their favorite things with them during the move will make them feel more secure.
Ask your children to help you plan the route your family will take to your new home. You can even make a game of navigating the best route using a road map or an online mapping service.
Before the move, give your children an opportunity to spend time with their friends to say goodbye. Plan a going-away party or sleepover with close friends. You might also want to make a final visit to favorite haunts so you can snap photos and say goodbye. Put together a memory album with photos of beloved people and places.
Mayflower has a special moving kit for children that includes fun cards that kids can use to exchange address information with friends. Ask your Herlihy moving consultant for a copy of “My Move.”
Learn about your new neighborhood
If possible, take the children to see their new home and neighborhood in advance. Introducing your kids to their new neighbors will reassure them that they will make new friends after the move.
If it is not possible to visit your new home, try to compile as much information about the neighborhood as you can. The Internet can offer a wealth of resources. Share everything you learn with your children.
Play it safe
When the van operator arrives, introduce him or her to the children. For safety reasons, make sure your children understand the importance of staying clear of the driver’s path when he or she is moving boxes and furniture into the van.
Make new friends
After the move, help your kids to make new friends by getting them involved in extracurricular activities in their new neighborhood. Sports leagues, community kids’ clubs and classes specific to your child’s interests will keep them busy and make them feel more at home in their new surroundings.
Once you have arrived at the new address, let your children pick their favorite restaurant, type of food or activity to celebrate the start of a new adventure.
Looking for professional, reliable movers in Columbus, Ohio? Contact us today to experience the Herlihy Moving & Storage difference. Since 1920, we have moved thousands of Ohio families and businesses around Ohio, across the United States, and around the world. As a locally owned and operated agent of Mayflower Moving, we have the resources to move you, no matter where you need to go.