Barbara Jones has been working as a high school counselor for over nine years. Over the years, she has gained valuable experience, which she likes to share in her articles. She usually writes about different aspects and challenges of parenting. She's a born and bred New Yorker and lives with her two dogs. In her spare time, she loves taking them on long walks through Central Park.
Prepare your kids for moving
- Inform them know about the move as soon as possible. This way, you'll give them the opportunity and time to prepare.
- Be prepared to answer all of your kids' questions. Your kids might want to know the details about the move. Make sure you're open and honest with them.
- Find a reason that will make them excited about the move. Your kids will probably feel too overwhelmed to think about the positive sides of the relocation. Therefore, they'll need you to help them see the benefits of this change.
- Don't disregard their feelings. Moving can be pretty scary for them, and they might not know how to deal with it properly. Try to help them understand their feelings.
- If possible, visit the new place. Show them their new neighborhood, school, playgrounds, cinemas, etc.
Ways to get your kids involved with moving
A perfect way to make your kids feel helpful is to let them declutter their belongings. Allow them to go through their own stuff and decide what to get rid of, donate, and keep. Even though you'll be the one who's making the final decision, they'll still love helping you.
This way, you'll not only get rid of many unwanted things, but you'll also teach them responsibilities. You can take this opportunity to talk to them about sharing and helping others. By donating their clothes or toys, they'll help other children, which will make them feel good.
Packing is a great way to get your kids involved with the move
After you finish decluttering, it's time for packing. This is another task your kids can help with. To make it more interesting, come up with some packing games.
Don't forget to separately pack the essentials you'll need on your moving day. This is especially important if you are in for a long-distance move. Make sure to pack your kids' backpacks and have them ready for the road. Also, pack things important to them, such as a favorite toy or a book.
Make moving fun
Fun is the language of kids. By making the relocation fun, you'll help your kids cope with it more easily. For example, you can make a family move scrapbook together. It's a great way to spend quality time together and create some precious memories.
Don't forget road games, too. There are plenty you choose from that don't require anything besides your family's participation. For instance, you can play 20 Questions, or I'm Going on a Picnic.
Unpack and decorate together
Unpacking is another excellent way to help your kids feel involved. You can make it fun by playing different unpacking games. For instance, you can have a treasure hunt. Hide treats in every moving box and have your kids look for them by giving them clues.
Decorating your kids' rooms can also be fun. Let them choose the art that goes on the walls or where they want their toys to go. By letting them decide, you'll give them a sense of control. If your kids are old enough, you can even let them unpack their things and decorate their new rooms entirely on their own.
The bottom line
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is the creator of Love After Kids, for couples that have grown apart since having children. He is a clinical psychologist and couples therapist with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 17-year-old son, 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old toy poodle.