What to consider when moving with children
At the best of times moving house, either to another part of the State or to another town in the US can prove difficult enough for the grown-ups. Add the kids to the mix and most parents start to dread the event.
In common with most things in life communication is the key to a successful move. If at all possible try to let the kids know early on that the family will be moving and try to paint this as an adventure, rather than something to be dreaded. Obviously if the move is as the result of a family break-up then this event may well be fraught but if the family is relocating as a result of improved job opportunities, or for a change of climate then the more positive the adults can be about the forthcoming upheaval, the better.
Try to involve the kids as much as possible. If the move involves looking at land to buy then why not take them with you on the initial trip so that they can feel that they are a major part of the decision making process. If a new build is on the cards then it’s very easy to try to involve the kids in the design of the house. Emphasize that they could very well design their own bedrooms and play areas. Many children become quite nervous and insecure about the possibility of moving from a place where they feel safe and find it difficult to imagine that they could be happy anywhere else so encourage them to think of the pleasure they will get when their old friends can come and stay.
The child will be a lot more confident about the projected move if some time is spent in explaining the amenities of the new environment. Before the initial visit try to visit the area online, look for the town website, or find books that have lots of pictures about the new environment. Once the family has chosen the house then see if you can visit the local school or playgroup so the child will see some familiar faces when they actually start at their new school. It’s a good idea to also point out all the activities that exist in the new town that are specifically devoted to children. All of these amenities should make the kids look forward to the move, they can tell their friends about the forthcoming adventure and how cool it’s all going to be.
The actual move:
Try to encourage the children to help with the packing and get them to mark their packing boxes containing their toys and clutter. This will make them feel that they are an important part of the move and also will release the adults so that they can get on with the millions of tasks that the event will introduce. If the children are very small, it might prove to be useful for them to stay with a family member on the day of the move, perhaps get them to look after the family pet so they can believe that they have the role as the pet monitor and feel a sense of inclusion and importance.