Moving is difficult even for the most experienced of adults. Adding children into the mix means a new layer of challenges arises. Children have all of the anxious feelings of a move without the understanding and coping skills. There are many ways you can make moving with children easier. Here are some tips to ease the process for everyone.
Involve Your Children in the Process
Children long to be a part of the big picture. As you plan your packing, cleaning, and other moving tasks, be sure to involve your children however you can. Even a task as simple as taping up boxes or bringing you a new roll of tape will help them feel involved and valued. Additionally, the long hours of work are a great opportunity to share stories, jokes, and plans for the future. Instead of turning on the radio or TV to occupy you as you work, invite your little one to work by your side.
Pack Their Things Last, Unpack Them First
Often, children feel distressed when they see their room empty and boxes full of their belongings. For this reason, it is wise to pack the children’s rooms last and then to unpack them first in your new home. In fact, communicating this plan to your movers allows the essential pieces of furniture to be some of the first off the truck when you arrive. One key to moving with children is giving them a sense of ownership of your new home immediately. This will help your children feel at peace and comfortable more quickly.
Read Books About Moving Together
There are many wonderful children’s books about moving. Reading these books together gives your child a chance to experience the feelings of a move from another person’s perspective. It also allows your children to address any questions or fears they may have about the changes that are taking place. Two great books to begin with are The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstain and Little Critter: We Are Moving by Mercer Mayer. Both books follow beloved characters experiencing the anxieties and challenges of moving with the love and support of their families.
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Use Visual Cues
Whether on our phones and desk calendars or in our heads, adults typically have regular countdowns and reminders regarding upcoming events. For children, however, the idea of tomorrow or next month is very difficult to grasp. The same goes for distances like miles or states. For this reason, visual representations can really help young children. For instance, create a paper chain with a link for each day leading up to your move. Remove a link each morning and talk about how many days remain. Or find a paper map and mark your current home, your new home, and your route in between. These visual representations of your move will help your children process what is happening.
Although moving with children sometimes feels like a hassle, it is an opportunity for connection and growth. It is hard to make time for the needs of children in the middle of a big move. But stopping and connecting with them, either by involving them in the task at hand or asking how they are feeling, goes a long way toward a peaceful adjustment to your new home. As you look for more ways to ease the moving process, be sure you hire the best movers for the job. At Nova Express Movers, we promise to take the best possible care of your family.