Kids are the perfect epitome of the saying, “Humans are creatures of habits.” Routines can make them feel secure and less anxious. After all, they know what to expect.
That’s why relocating is stressful for them, and that can be a problem. A stressed kid can throw tantrums and make it harder for you to pack and prep the whole family for a new life somewhere.
These tips will, therefore, come in handy when you’re about to move with tykes:
1. Make the Move Fun
Kids feel stress, but they also know fun, so why don’t you capitalize on that when planning your move?
From packing an “airport” suitcase full of their favorite toys, watching movies about airplanes while eating airplane food to allowing them to decorate the boxes used for transportation, making this process fun will help it become less stressful for everyone.
Here are other fun activities you can do with them:
- Let them paint your suitcases. Sure, your bags won’t look neat, but at least you have a happier, more engaged kid.
- Watch videos of fun family activities you can do in your new neighborhood. It can be a park, camping ground, hiking trail, swimming pool—or anything that piques your child’s interest.
- Plan a costume road trip. You will look silly, but that will make the trip even more memorable and funnier for your child.
2. Take Day Trips to the New Location
If possible, try to schedule day trips for when you are moving. This way, you can have them explore their new neighborhood and be less scared of the move!
Even better, explore the area by turning it into a game. Think about a “treasure hunt” where you leave clues in different places. Focus on toy stores, candy stores, and parks.
You can also join local tours, which will be an amazing way to acquaint yourself with the things you and the kids will find interesting later on.
3. Allow Your Kids to Pack at Least One Box Themselves
It doesn’t matter if they only fit one toy per box. This allows them to feel included in the move and gives them something special that they helped create once everything is over.
You can also encourage them to create a memento box. Inside, they can place souvenirs from friends, such as photos and gifts. It can also contain little things that will remind them of your home, where they must have plenty of fun memories with friends and family.
4. Get Help
No matter how hard you try, not all kids will be as engaging as you like them to be. No activity will entice them to get excited with the move. However, it’s hard to focus your attention on them since you still have many things to do.
In this case, get help. Call moving companies that can help you take care of the bulk of your moving needs. These include packing, storing some of your pieces in a facility, and eventually hauling your belongings to your new destination.
The best ones will even create a moving plan for you. This way, you know what to expect every step of the way. You know where your items will be picked up and when they will arrive in your new home. The only thing you have to worry about is getting there and making sure your kids are less stressed.
5. Prepare Your Kids for the House Before You Get There
If your kids are really young (under 5), try having them go to the house with you during open houses (as long as the property owner and the real estate agent allows you to do so). This provides you many benefits:
- Your child will become more familiar with the house and the surroundings. You can even begin talking about their favorite spots of the house.
- You will have a better idea about how family-friendly or child-friendly the house and the neighborhood are.
- Believe it or not, your kid can actually help you make a purchasing decision. Children are honest, and they can tell you if something makes them uncomfortable or unhappy.
6. Be Patient and Honest
Never tell any child that moving is easy, fun, etc., because it’s not. It will be stressful at times. But keep reassuring your kids that first, you’ll always love them no matter where you live, and things will get better soon. If anything goes wrong, remind them that things happen for a reason.
Now, being real may sound harsh for the children. However, as most experts say, never underestimate kids. As long as you can level with them (and you can always get assistance from counselors and other child experts), they will understand what you mean.
Moving is hard for adults, so it’s double or triple the effect for the children. But with these strategies, relocating to a new environment will be less stressful for them and you.