Discussing the Move with Children sooner rather than latter
Irrespective of the situation, it is very vital that you carry the children along when moving. The most important way to carry the children along is to talk about it. Give the kids all the possible information. It is important that you answer all the questions they would ask truthfully and completely. Try as much as possible to be receptive to their negative and positive reactions.
Experts advise that it is better to inform your children earlier that they are moving because they always need more time to get used to the idea. Discuss all the possible benefits with the children to make them more enthusiastic towards the move. Let them know they will make new friends, have a new garden and get a new school. This will make them see the move as a new adventure.
Kids often get frightened with lots of wrong imaginations when you inform them of a move without letting them know all that they should know, even if the move will bring an improvement to the family. When you involve the children, they see themselves as important parts of the family and they feel like participants.
Before the move
Expect your children to be anxious. They are likely to ask you a lot of questions before the move. They will ask questions like; when exactly are we moving? Why are we moving? How will I see my friends again? What will happen on moving day? Will I be able to pack my toys along? Are we moving with our pet?
Go through how you will park and what you think will happen on that day with them. It is advisable that you set aside a day to visit your new area with the children prior to the actual parking day. Make them see the fun places around like the leisure centre, playgrounds, cinema or local tourist attractions. If assessable, let them see how their new bedroom will look like.
You can draw a map for them, indicating the location of their new furniture. This is an absolute fun for the kids. Discuss the paint colors, themes, beddings and wallpapers with them. It will get their mind prepared.
Allow the children to decide where to put their items in their new room. Don’t force things on them. They should be responsible for their own rooms.
You can advise and encourage them to get rid of the toys that they no longer use. They can start learning the act of charity by creating a ‘charity box’ for less privilege kids. You can explain to them how some other kids would enjoy playing with those toys. It’s better to give the toys out than to keep them unused in a store. Please don’t advise your children to give away their most treasured toys or objects. This will make them sad and unsettled.
Allow the children to pack some of their boxes by themselves, especially the boxes with soft toys. Let them label the boxes by themselves. They can use stickers or colored pens to mark their boxes. They can also use a personalized fun tape displaying ‘MY STUFF’.
Some children worry about seeing their boxes again. Let them know that they will see them again very soon.
You can help them create a moving scrapbook. This should contain photos of your old house, their old room, garden, friends and School. You should also include notes from their friends, teachers or anything that can make them have a fresh reminiscence.
When packing, let the removal company pack the children’s toy boxes last, so that they can be the first to be removed when offloading. This makes your children feel special and gives them more time to open the boxes and arrange their new room with fun.
Saying a proper goodbye to friends
This is always a very difficult part of moving for children. It is important you give them a formal chance to say goodbye properly. Organizing a little leaving party is always a great idea. The party is an opportunity for your children to take photos with their friends. You’ll have the neighborhood and the house on your background.
These photos are definitely part of the stuffs you will add to their scrapbook. Encourage them to collect their friend’s emails, telephone numbers and addresses so that they can keep in touch.
Staying temporarily in a new home
If you are going to stay in your new apartment for only a short time, you still need to make the new temporary place look very homely for the children. Hang some family photos on the walls to make the place feel more like home and allow the children asses to their toys.
During the move
Normally you should have your friends or relatives to watch over your children for most of the day. However, this is not possible in most cases. So you have to explain exactly what is happening to young children. It is advisable that you engage your children on the moving day. Assign important jobs to them (depending on their ages). This will keep them busy.
You can make them load all toy boxes. Tell them to make sure no toy is left unpacked. They can check the cupboards and garden to be sure there are no stray items. You can engage the really young children by surrounding them with their favorite toys.
It is important that you arrive at the new apartment before the removal team. This will give the children an opportunity to explore their new home and get excited. Let the removal team know where the entire toy will go once they arrive. But it is better you put almost all the furniture in place before the children unpack the boxes. Otherwise you will have a removal man mistakenly stepping on your children’s favorite toy when struggling to cross a floor scattered with toys. This can ruin the children’s day and make the parking a bad experience for them. You can unpack one box for them to start playing in their room as soon as all the room furniture is in place.
Make the first night special for your children. Have ice cream and pizza. Then spend more time with them that night. Unpacking can wait till the next day.
Long distance moving
It is normal for the removal team to set off before you to the new house. Then you follow after them. However, you will have to overtake them at some point. Don’t forget to wave as you drive by. Long distance journey can be a burden for children. Keep them occupied so that things will not be boring for them.
You can give them a paper and a pen to draw their new bedroom. You can even print a plan and instruct them to add their furniture. This will get them excited and can guide the removal men to put things in the right place.
Fix the children’s furniture first and unpack their boxes first. When you sort their rooms as fast as possible, they will be able to settle quicker because they can see things that they are familiar with. Spend some time familiarizing the children with the new area. Explore the walkways, swings and parks together. Let them know all the new things they can excite themselves with.