How to Prepare Your Kids for a Move
Moving house with kids can be tricky if you don’t plan ahead. While going to your fabulous new house may be thrilling for you and your partner, it’s wise to make sure that you include the children in every step of the move. Change what could be anxiety into an excitement that matches your own.
Share Your Dreams
When you have children moving house with you the planning can begin when you look for your new home. Your approach will depend on their ages, however you can have a conversation early with them about this major change in their lives to get them used to the idea.
- Include them when you choose a house. Show them pictures or take them along to inspections so they can imagine where they may be moving to and their new room;
- Talk to them about why you are moving;
- Ask them what they would like at their new home and where they would like it to be.
Introduce them Before you Move
Whether you are moving house with a toddler or older children, get them involved with your new home before moving day. This way they will know where their things will go, where the essential places like the bathroom are and will feel that it is a familiar and welcoming place.
A visit or two to your new home before you move in could just make the difference in their comfort level on what will be a hectic day.
It’s also a good idea to let the kids know things/places close to the new house that may interest them (eg playgrounds, shops, skate parks etc). Having new places to visit and explore can help build excitement about the move. Plan outings to visit these places once you’ve moved (or beforehand if possible).
Packing their Own Things
Let them help you pack their belongings. Explain as you do that they will see them again soon, they are not going to be gone forever. Encourage them to personalise the boxes with drawings or writing so that they can easily keep track of them on moving day.
Goodbyes are Important
Set aside some time for the kids to say goodbye to the house and the neighbours. They may feel a bit lost at the idea of such a big change in their lives so giving them an opportunity to talk about what they feel and say farewell is an important step.
Arranging to stay in touch with old neighbours and friends (e.g as “pen-pals”) can also help to overcome the sadness of leaving them behind.
Delegate a Babysitter
Organise someone that the kids are comfortable with to help look after them on moving day, this frees you up to make sure everything else goes smoothly. Having a relative or favourite family friend on hand at your new home to make sure that the kids are relaxed will drastically reduce the stress that you feel as parents.
Arm them with favourite toys, board games, videos and snacks to keep the children entertained for hours while you unload and organise.
A Fun First Night
First impressions count. Make the first night in your new home fun, and you are setting the pace for an easier settling in period. Order in some favourite food and watch a much-loved movie before collapsing into bed on what is always a super challenging day.