Filled with excitement after receiving a huge promotion, you race home to tell your family that you will be moving to a new state full of wonder and opportunity! Instead of squeals of delight you are met with terror stricken faces, tears and a lot of yelling. Confused and bewildered, you wonder “what went wrong?!”
Think of it this way; if the thought of packing up all of your belongings and moving them across the country to a place where you will have to start your life all over fills you with anxiety, imagine what your children might feel when they hear the news. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent this disastrous scene and make the moving processes easier on kids.
Preparing Your Child / Children For The Big Move
Tips To Help Break The News & Prepare Kids For A Long Move Away
It’s possible that this is the only home your child has ever known. The thought of one day moving away from it to a new home has likely never crossed their little minds. When you break the news to them, be prepared for a few tears as children mourn the loss of their bedrooms, memories and best friends. Focus on the positive but be sure not to belittle their fears and concerns. Encourage kids to talk about and express their fears.
Help children say goodbye to their home and their friends by throwing a “goodbye” party, taking pictures of the house and their friends, and taking time to have a few last special memories. Make the project of packing and moving into an adventure or a game, anything to help motivate little ones to stay involved and busy.
Here Is A Great Link For Helping Break The Bad News Of Moving To Kids
- Family Communication Tips: Breaking Bad News (ParentFurther.com)
Packing Up With Kids
Tips To Help Children Pack Up And Prepare To Move Long Distances
Seeing their things get packed away in boxes might be the hardest part for younger children, and they need a way to stay entertained until the last possible day. Therefore, it would be a good idea to pack their things last and save a small box or bag for special toys that need to ride in the car with you.
Hunting through boxes to find one essential item can be maddening so save yourself some future stress by taking the time to add detailed labels to boxes as you pack. Kids that can write or draw can even help with this. Label the box with the room and child’s name, and write down what the box contains.
Make good use of babysitters, friends and family that offer to help, and third party packing and moving resources to help make this process easier. Stress that the adults experience is picked up on by children who then worry needlessly about things they can’t control. Have a plan and a backup plan for everything.
Hitting The Road For A Long Distance Move With Children
Tips For Traveling With Kids Across The Country
Once your belongings are packed it’s time to settle in for a long cross country road trip. If you’ve ever been on a short road trip with your children then you have had a small taste of what lies ahead. Only parents armed with the best entertainment, snacks and plans of action will survive!
Bring a cooler and pack it with healthy food and water. If your children are old enough, keep the cooler where they can reach it to reduce the number of time you have to pull over to assist. Plan for frequent restroom breaks and use that time to also let kids walk around a bit to get the wiggles out.
Avoid arguments and endless “are we there yet” questions by investing in technology or other car games. When you were growing up a long road trip probably involved many rounds of sing-a-longs and license plate bingo but today’s kids have in-car DVD players and electronic games to keep them company. If you have internet access or smartphone access, then looking up cool places and things to do in your new city can offer great excitement for your child!
Other fun car activities include trivia games, art and audio books (reading paperbacks might cause car sickness), and family sing-a-longs. If you have the time, plan your route to make time to stop at fun, cool, or historical attractions along the way. You will be able to do some great things that you may otherwise never get to experience with your children. National parks, historical sites, geological sites, or random “tourist traps” can make the road trip fun a lot more fun for your child and provide another outlet to expel some energy!
Great Links For More Road Trip Fun & Activities
Unpacking And Starting Fresh
Tips To Welcome Children Into Their New Home After Moving
If this is their first time seeing their new home, let children explore and discover all the home has to offer. Unpack essentials first and a few special items, but don’t rush to unpack everything in the first day. Allow kids time to play and decompress as well as explore their new neighborhood.
If you move during the summer and school is not in session, seek out opportunities for kids to get involved and make new friends. This will help the transition to the new school become easier. Let children have some control over decorating their new bedroom. There is nothing more fun for a kid than getting to decorate in their own unique style.
Things are bound to be different in the new place, but try to keep as many familiar routines in place as possible. Familiar rules and actions are comforting, not only for the kids but for you as well. Before long, you will have new memories and new routines that will last a lifetime.