Moving house with kids is not always as easy as one, two, three… But it’s important to also think about to to make moving easier for your kids. Big emotions can be at play and need to be managed carefully.
Moving is a stressful process for parents, but imagine how stressful it must be for the kids: all of their familiar surroundings are shoved into boxes, they’re forced to say good-bye to their friends, and then they’re plucked away to start over in a new town.
It can be both exciting and heartbreaking for them to do, and equally as heartbreaking for parents to watch. After watching my own kids go through this, here’s how we got
tears to dry and tantrums to stop.
Dealing with the emotions and feelings of moving house with kids
1. Moving house with kids? Put the kids to work
With five little ones in tow, moving was nothing short of chaos. Even with the help of removalists, we were in need of any and all helping hands. Assigning tasks to my kids not only made them feel like a part of the action, but it also made moving a little easier and a little more fun for all of us. The removalist company will take care of the larger items for you, but if you’re doing self-storage like we did in Sydney with Containaway, there’s no reason why kids can’t help you pack that up with lighter items. For any simple job that needs to be done, let your kids take the lead—they’ll become so preoccupied with helping, they won’t even have time to worry about moving.
2. Look forward
When we were packing up, we handed out a couple of large bags and asked our kids to fill them up with anything they didn’t want to take along to the new home. For every 15 items they decided to donate or sell, we would reward them with “coupons” that they could use at our new home. The coupons were redeemable for visits to the zoo, trips to the library, afternoons at the local park, etc. The idea here was to get the kids excited about exploring their new town, and to help them realise that change isn’t always bad.
3. Look back
Everything that was once familiar and safe to your kids will seem different in a new home. For our little ones, we found that making a scrapbook of their old home made them feel a little more at ease. Photos of the whole family together in your old home will give your children a sense of familiarity. As soon as you’re all settled in, start adding photos of the whole family together in your new home. Look through the scrapbook together and point out the differences, but try to emphasize that the people who love them are still there and always will be. Over time, this goes a long way toward calming their anxiety and ending fussy behavior.
4. Consider your own emotional cues
One of the things that we realised during the move was that the kids took emotional cues directly from us. If we seemed anxious, upset or stressed, so did they. When we stopped fussing over moving, their attitudes began to change and a negative experience started to become a positive one.
Once you’ve dealt with the emotions of moving house it’s time to get out Top Tips for Moving House. These are the practical, logistics you need to make your move as smooth as possible with little people in the mix!
Good luck with the move. Remember that carefully managing your child’s emotions now will put you in good stead for a happier transition in your new home. Here’s to new memories under a new roof!
Michelle Rise is a homemaker, mother of five (yes, five!) and a military wife of nearly 30 years. She enjoys travelling to most other destinations worldwide, and when not writing about her experiences or teaching her children to drive, Michelle can be found chasing around the family dog with her husband, Ben. You can follow Michelle on Twitter for all of her latest writing.