Moving with children can be traumatic for both the kids and their parents. Yet, it does not have to become a major crisis in anyone’s life. Here are some tips to turn moving from a gigantic problem into an adventure that will help your kids go along with the fun and keep parents from losing their minds.
1. Visit the New Place Before Moving
If possible, visit the new location before moving there. Try to find something fun to do that is special about the new location. It is helpful if the old location does not have a similar type of place. You want to look for things that are special about the new location.
Visit many things and watch your kid’s reactions. Don’t assume you know what they like. Help them find things by letting them guide you. Allow them to be the official tour guide for at least part of the trip. Go online with them to pick out places that you would like to explore together. If you have teens, let them go off on their own at the new place.
2. Use Positivity When Describing the New Place
After you return home, make comments in front of your kids about the things you like about the new place. Don’t ask questions of the kids. Instead, say things like, “I had a great time at ___. I wish I could go back.” Then, carefully watch your children’s reactions.
If you are very observant, they will give you a clue about something they liked in the new place. Then, you can repeat that thing as your mantra about the new place. Say it out loud like you are daydreaming about the new place, within earshot of your kids, but not necessarily directed at them.
3. Let Your Teen Explore the Area
This even works with sullen teenagers. The place that they like, if your teenagers were allowed to choose one, might be discovered when they were not with you if you allowed them free time to explore the new place on their own. You may never learn what their favorite place is; however, they may have a secret one and your enthusiasm about the new area triggers them to think about it.
4. Encourage Face Time With Existing Friends
Most children are not so unhappy to leave a school behind but might be very unhappy with the idea of leaving their friends behind. Help your children practice staying connected to existing friends using technology. If you are lucky, they may already do this. If not, make this fun and a reward.
Video conferencing, using a free online service, supervised as needed for younger children, is a great way to continue the connection with friends from the old place. Start these face-time sessions with these friends before the move. Set up the connections to the Internet that are ready to go when you arrive in the new place so the friendships will not be interrupted.
5. Prime the New Friend’s Pump
If possible, connect your children to a social group of other, age-appropriate children in the new location before moving there. For example, send them to a summer camp in the new location before you move. If you can, help prime these new friendships before your kids move to a new place. Then, you can help them avoid feeling like they do not have any friends.
6. Packing Together for the Move
Let your kids pack boxes of their favorite things that are marked “Open Me First.” To give them something to look forward to at the new place, in secret put some non-perishable treats in with the stuff in their boxes. In this way, they have a nice surprise when they open a box in the new location.
7. Get Plenty of Your Kid’s Favorite Food and Drinks
Make sure that you are prepared to have good things to eat in the new place and can enjoy something to eat easily, even if it is only ordering pizza for delivery. Stay hydrated while moving and make sure the kids drink plenty of water too.
8. Making Moving Less of a Chore
It is tempting to start ordering kids around like soldiers when moving to a new place. However, it is also good to allow free time for them to do something that is fun and not to just make them do chores related to the move.
9. Give Yourself a Break Too
Try not to overwork when you first move to the new place. There is a tendency to try to do too much, too fast. Be able to stop in the middle of doing something and leave the rest of it for the next day. Allow yourself an extended period of up to six months after you move to get everything perfect. Let it be messy for the first weeks. Don’t worry about getting everything organized. Just deal with the basics first, of food to eat, drinks, places to sleep, and connected technology.
10. Feeling Sad About Leaving the Old Place
It is normal to feel sad about leaving a place that you like. Perhaps, you hate where you lived and that is why you moved. In that case, congratulations! You escaped. Now, make the best of the new place.
Also, if the old place is not too far away you can always go back for a visit. Plan to vacation there if you liked it and then you can see old friends once again in person.
11. Fighting is Likely Among Siblings
It would be unusual for a family with kids to be able to move to a new place and all act like perfect angels. Some fighting is going to happen. It is likely to happen between the kids if you have more than one child. Fighting over new space is a territorial instinct. Be prepared to deal with these problems and then be the referee to calm them down if they get out of control.
12. Allow Extra Time for Planning and Care
Try to avoid time pressure by allowing extra time for frustrating things. You may have to rush to start a new job and this adds to the pressure. If possible, make a schedule of things to do and allow extra time in the schedule for those unexpected things that come up.
13. Be Prepared for the Common Cold
Kids at a certain age always seem to get sick. You may be forced to move while they are sick, or they may get sick from exposure to new bacteria and viruses after you move to the new place. Be prepared with a kid’s first-aid kit that has the usual things you need to take care of a child’s sickness.
14. Self-Storage is Your Best Ally
Just because you are moving, you do not have to take everything to the new place. You can put things that are not necessary to have in self-storage temporarily. Then, take time moving them later at a slower pace. You can move in the basics to get started and put the rest in self-storage. Then, slowly and gradually, get the things put in self-storage to bring them to the new place as needed.
Create New Memories During the Move
If you think it is a hassle to move with kids, you are right. It can be very emotional for everyone involved. But don’t let damper your family’s spirits. Moving to a new home is full of opportunities and a time to create great memories. So try out the things we suggest. You’ll have a better chance of making the move smoother.
We’re Your Storage Solution!
Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.