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Moving can be tough, especially if you have kids. While adults are usually able to get through the stress of packing with a new home in sight, kids don’t always have that understanding. Instead, they feel like they are being uprooted from a place they love.
This feeling can be even more extreme if you are moving a far distance. Moving out of state means leaving friends and family and entering into the unknown territory of making new friends and transitioning to a new school. Luckily, there are ways you can make this transition easier for your kids. Check out the 6 tips below to see which ones you can lean on when moving.
1. Tell your kids about the move ahead of time
Many parents think it’s best to wait until the last minute to tell their kids they are moving. This could be from a fear of their reaction or a belief that they should just rip off the band-aid and be on their way. While this method may seem painless, your child might feel blind-sighted. Instead, you should give them at least a month to process the transition and address any fears or concerns they have.
2. Explain why your moving
Are you moving for a better job? To be closer to family? Be sure to explain exactly why you are moving so that your kids understand the amount of thought that went into this decision. Be sure to mention the positive and exciting things that will come with this new home.
3. Involve them in the packing process
To come home and have all your belongings packed would be a shock to anyone, no matter what age. Rather than packing behind their backs, involve your kids in the process. This will make them feel like they are included in this transition. Try making the packing into a game and use fun markers to label the boxes properly.
4. Say goodbye to your old house
It’s important to take the time to appreciate all that your old house had to offer. Taking this time to say goodbye to your old house will help your kids feel a sense of closure. After all the boxes are packed and you’re ready to leave, enjoy one last meal in your home. Order pizza or a meal from your favorite local restaurant and enjoy it in your empty house.
5. When you move in, allow time to explore
Exploring the home will help your kids familiarize themselves with their surroundings. Try playing a game like this new home scavenger hunt bingo. Simply print out the boards and give each family member one. Whoever gets bingo, or five squares in a row, will receive a prize. Also, have a reward ready for the person who fills out the full board first. This activity makes sure that one of the first memories made in the new home are fun ones.
Kids Scavenger Hunt Bingo
6. Have a plan to keep in touch with your old neighborhood
Last but not least, it’s helpful to keep in touch with your old neighborhood. This is especially important if you are moving a far distance and your kids have to leave their friends or old school.
If this is the case, plan a trip to go back and visit. Even if it’s a farther distance, having a set time that they can look forward to seeing something familiar will make it easier to adjust.
It might also be helpful to set up a consistent time when they can call their friends. Having the ability to vent about their new life with people that know them will help them feel like they aren’t alone. Although this transition is tough, it’s easier if they know they have friends they can talk to.
Moving is never easy but hopefully following these tips will make the transition smoother. Be sure you are there to listen and try to understand their point of view. In the end, this move could make you stronger as a family.