Whether it’s moving out of town or out of state, it could mean leaving the only home they’ve ever known. By opening the lines of communication and making it a positive experience, parents and kids will endure a much more enjoyable moving day.
“Moving is a family project,” said Nick Roerig, franchisee of Murfreesboro TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. “Share the excitement and responsibilities with every member of the family. Give everyone an age-appropriate responsibility. Have the kids decorate their boxes. And then, once you are in your new house, it will be easier for them to find their stuff.”
The experts at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® believe these tips will help navigate children up to and beyond moving day:
Before the move:
- Conduct a family meeting and inform children about moving plans as soon as possible. The more time they have to prepare, the less anxiety they will have. Let them participate in the decision-making process. If children feel included and take ownership of their new home, the transition will go much smoother.
- Plan a new room. Kids’ rooms should be areas in which they feel the safest. Let them choose a design for their new bedroom or play room, and take them shopping so they can participate in choosing paint colors and design elements.
- Donate old toys to a good cause. Instead of selling old toys, donate them to children in need. Kids often feel comforted knowing their old belongings are going to a worthy cause.
- Create a moving day plan. To keep kids’ anxiety to a minimum, discuss each moving day task in detail to both eliminate any surprises and set general expectations.
- Involve kids in the packing process and start packing items not needed right away.
During the move:
- Throughout the move, do your best to stay upbeat and calm. Give children a chance to express their feelings, and try to be honest about your own feelings.
- Assign age-appropriate tasks. Give younger kids simpler duties, such as providing water and snacks to the movers, and charge older kids with the responsibility of last minute cleaning work.
- Keep prized items organized. Create a special box for children to stow their favorite toys or items for the duration of the move.
- Most children will feel some anger and sadness or may worry about the move. Reassure them they aren’t alone and that it’s OK to experience these feelings.
- Give your children the opportunity to say goodbye to important people in their lives. Help children prepare a list of phone numbers, emails and addresses of special people in their lives. Prepare cards that include their name and new address to hand out to friends. Child psychology experts agree if kids know they can stay in touch with loved ones, it will make the move less traumatic.