There’s no denying the fact that moving can be stressful. But, when you throw a couple antsy, energetic, and impatient children into the mix? Well, suddenly the moving process becomes a whole lot tougher to manage. Not only does it mean extra stuff to move, but it also means needing to keep an eye on what they’re up to—all while trucks are being unloaded, dishes are being unpacked, and furniture’s being shifted around.
Are you getting a headache already? I can’t blame you. Moving with children in tow can definitely be a little trying. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! It just takes a little thought, consideration, and a hefty dose of prior planning.
Make sure to remember these five quick tips, and you’re sure to take some of the pain, hassle, and stress out of an already frazzling situation.
1. Keep Them in the Loop
Yes, moving can be stressful for you. But, it can be particularly overwhelming for your children—particularly if they’re a bit too young to truly understand what’s going on.
This is why it’s important that you make an effort to talk to them about the move—well before it happens. Sit down and create a scrapbook or memory board of your current home so that they know it will always be a cherished place. Then, explain that you’ll be getting a fresh start in a new home, and provide a bit of a run-through of what moving involves so that they aren’t surprised when big trucks and strangers show up to load up their bedroom.
The more you can inform kids about the entire process, the less stressed (and, therefore, fussy!) they’ll be when that actual day arrives.
2. Making Helping a Game
I know, your first inclination might be to try to get the kids out of your hair so you can focus on the many tasks at hand. However, you can actually do yourself a favor (and allow your kids to feel more involved in the process!) by making helping a game.
Have them load up their own toys and stuffed animals into boxes. Ask them to carry lighter objects into the correct rooms in your new house. Enlist their help in collecting all of the bubble wrap and packing materials that are littered all over the place.
Do what you can to involve them. It means less stress for you, and more excitement for them!
3. Pack a Bag
Even if you enlist their help in the packing and unpacking process, your kids are still bound to become bored and restless. So, make sure that you keep an emergency bag handy—particularly if your move involves a lengthy road trip.
This bag should include some of their favorite toys, games, and activities—and, for added excitement, even a few new ones! This bag will act as your entertainment and distraction when you’re busy working on other things.
4. Maintain Routines
Even if your children are seemingly excited about the move, it can still be a big, shocking change. Kids thrive on stability and predictability, and much of that is uprooted when they’re relocated to a new place.
So, make your best effort to maintain those classic family routines your kids have grown used to—even if you feel like you should be unpacking dishes instead. Whether it’s pizza on Friday nights or a family game day every Saturday afternoon, keeping these routines will make the adjustment that much easier for your kids.
5. Be Realistic
Remember, moving is a hassle to begin with. And, it only becomes tougher when you bring kids into the mix.
You need to be realistic and realize that this likely means things won’t move at the speed you wish they would. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and remember that moving is a process—it’s going to take more than a few hours to get organized, adjusted, and settled in.
But, once you do, you and your kids will have a great new place to call home—that’s the light at the end of the tunnel you should keep in mind when the stress of moving all just feels like too much.
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