Moving isn’t easy on most adults. There’s the planning and budgeting, packing and storing and so much more. The kids are often easily lost in the shuffle, and they are stressed about the changes, too. Now, it’s not your fault of course, but the truth is, the busier you get with the move, the more they feel overwhelmed and even forgotten. That’s an added level of stress nobody needs. So instead of letting the kids become prisoners of the move, let’s look at a few simple ways to help them feel excited and part of the big adventure!
First of all, if you’re still in the looking phase of buying your home, make sure to include your kids in the process. Ask them what they’d like to have at the new house. Ask them what was missing about this home; not just for their own rooms but for the rest of the house too. Sure, they’re likely to tell you they want a two story water slide, an indoor bounce house or a basement arcade; let them offer up their crazy dreams and schemes! Have fun with their fantasies and let them be playful. Imagine with them. But then take the time to direct the conversation to how they would like to have their bedroom set up. Would they prefer windows or skylights? Is there a feature they want to make sure there’s room for in their bedroom or the living room.
Next, talk about the schools. Tell them about the schools in the area. Drive to the neighborhoods and take a walk around the different streets and get a feel for each area. Do you like it? Do the kids like it? It’s really helpful to explore the potential neighborhoods to make sure you feel at home inside and outside of your home. Schools and the neighborhoods they’re in will likely have the kids playing there as well. If your child likes the school and the neighborhood, they’ll likely find great friends there too. Another thing you can do to keep your child or children involved in the process, is to ask for their input when you’re choosing new decor or colors. Of course, you’re not leaving the decisions up to them, but they feel good when you invite them into the conversation!
Ask them what their favorite colors are of the paint samples you’ve picked out, or which table is their favorite from the ones you’re deciding between and why. The most stressful time of all is during the actual move. Everything is going into boxes, you can’t find what you need, and you trip over something in every corner of the house. So first of all, make sure you reduce the stress of the packing by helping keep your children organized. Ask your kids if they’d like your help packing their room or if they’d like to do it themselves. Your child’s personality will determine this one. The more independent ones are more likely to feel empowered and part of the process by doing the packing themselves.
Other children could feel overwhelmed by the idea and bring more stress to the situation. With those that can become overwhelmed, create a schedule of what will be packed when, and help them spend around 30 minutes at a time packing up their room by section or categories.
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Lastly, to really keep the stress down during the move, make sure you keep your outside commitments to a minimum. Avoid appointments or events and keep your daily schedule as simple as possible. Order in. Watch movies. Take time to simply relax in the middle of the madness. Because in the end, your children feed off your emotions and responses. So follow these tips, go at the process a little at a time, and your children will feel far more at ease with the move.