Moving can be difficult for the whole family, on many levels. For instance, you might not know where to get the best boxes, or how to pack your belongings, or even what some of the moving rates are. And while you can easily google the rates of your local movers or find a decent moving box guide, there are still some more important matters to consider, like dealing with your children during this busy and stressful time.
No matter their age, kids will have difficulties understanding or accepting the move. After all, it is a huge change in their lives that might have lasting consequences. So, before that day comes, you have to be the kind of mom who would help them go through the process smoothly. With that in mind, here’s a handy little guide for you on how to get your little ones ready before the day of the big move comes.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Some people might think that moving with preschoolers and toddlers is easy since they don’t really understand what’s going on. In reality, it might be even more difficult than moving with teens or pre-teens. After all, the younger the child is, the more of your attention they will require.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can approach your younglings during this stressful time. All you need is patience, creativity, and a lot of love.
Never Forget About Them
Yes, packing those boxes will take time, and yes, you will want to pull your hair out more than once out of frustration. However, your toddler will not care about that. They will care about hugs, belly rubs, toys, and exploring. So, the best way to handle both packing and taking care of the little ones is to balance it out. For example, whenever you can, stop what you are doing and pick your little ones up. Do it again after another round of packing and again when you get a free minute. That way, your toddler will not feel left out and you can work in peace. But more importantly, you will take necessary short breaks every once in a while, which can help you rest.
Use Visual Aids to Explain the Move
A preschooler might have some understanding of what moving is, but it will be limited. Moreover, the children might ask some questions which you can’t exactly explain on their level. Therefore, try using toys and other props to explain the move. For example, you can take their favorite toy and act out the move. The conversation might sound like ‘yes, mommy and daddy and the bear and you, we all get to live in a new house. But the bear will be with you in your new room. And so will the bunny, and the birdy, and all your little friends! Look how excited they are! They will all love their new home with you.’
Pre-Teen School-Age Children
Unlike toddlers or preschoolers, kids aged 6 to 12 will know what moving is. However, they might not like the idea of it, and it can indeed be quite a difficult experience for them. So, as a mom who is also moving with them, you have to try and understand their feelings. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Talk, Empathise, Listen, Understand (TELU)
If your children are having a hard time, try to be there for them. Talk with them openly and calmly about the move and don’t be afraid to let them know how you feel. After all, the big change is just as scary for you as it is for the little ones. Also, if they yell at you, cry, or have an outburst, don’t be quick to get angry. Approach them calmly and let them know that you understand what they’re going through.
Include the Kids in the Moving Process
Your kids need proper attention, even during the move. Of course, you can’t really play with them a lot with all the planning and packing you have to do. Luckily, you can kill two birds with one stone by involving your kids in the process, comments house removalist Ryan Banks. There are plenty of activities that you can do together, from camping indoors to decorating moving boxes. In fact, your kids can even help you decide on which toys to keep, and which ones to donate or throw away. It will save you a lot of moving space, plus it’s a good way to keep your kids busy while you do other things.
Teens tend to be a bit rebellious, and moving to a different town can trigger such behavior. What’s more, the whole process can be quite traumatic at that stage in life. With that in mind, you will need to approach your adolescent kids carefully, and here are a few things you’ll need to pay attention to.
Discuss Everything Openly
Sit down with your teen son or daughter and ask them how they feel about the move. They might have friends that they don’t want to abandon or even a romantic interest. Also, they might want to come back to their hometown for events like prom. Try to be as understanding as possible and help them focus on the positive aspects of the move. For instance, the move can serve as ‘practice’ for future events in their life, like going to college or finding a place of their own. Moreover, allow them to come back to their old home every now and again to see their friends. If you can, make arrangements for them to return during prom and other events.
Moving During the School Year
If you plan on moving while your teen is still in the middle of their school year, consider letting them stay in their hometown until the holidays roll around the corner. It will be far easier for them to come with you during summer. Your teen can stay with a relative or a close household friend.
The stress of moving can leave a permanent mark on a child regardless of their age. As a mother, you will need to focus on reducing as much of that stress as you can. If you manage to do that, your move will go over smoothly. But more importantly, your kids will go through with it healthy and happy, and they will adjust to their new life with little difficulty.