It is not uncommon for kids or children to feel powerless when their parents inform them that they are moving. On top of that most parents give their children no input decisions about the move or things to come at the new location. There are things you should do before, during, and after the move to make is easier for everyone.
1. Have a Family Meeting Call a family meeting. Order some pizza and gather around the dining room table for a casual dinner and lots of conversation. If you’re moving because of a promotion or a new job, tell your children that you’re excited about it. Explain why you took it and how it will impact the entire family. Tell them how you feel about the move. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns. If this is their first time moving, it could be particularly difficult because they’re leaving their family home. If this is an out of state move, it could become more difficult.
2. Spread out the move out over a couple days. Moving an entire house in one day makes for very exhausted and grumpy parents. It is more work than anyone should do. If you are moving locally, see if you can get into your new house just a few days early, it is worth every penny. Moving room by room is one thousand times better than trying to sort out a sea of boxes. It makes for an easier transition for the littlest members of your family, too.
3. Make a check list and give everyone a job. Most small children are always worried about if all the things they care about will make it during a move. Make a check list with your kids listing the things most important to them. Pack the “special box” together and take it in your car if at all possible. Pretend like you are going on vacation; pack a bag of snacks and loot to pull out in difficult moments or to buy some needed busy time.
4. New Community This is pretty important not just for parents, but for the kids as well. If you make a big move at the end of the school get the kids involved in local camps in the new town. Parents find local organizations like the Red Cross, youth organizations, or something that can help you get involved in the community. Before you know it, you’ll be leading the local bake sale, and you’ve been in town only for 3 months.
Moving the whole family is not an easy task. But if a proper announcement at dinner is made, take your time moving out of the old house, let the children be involved in the process, and then engage with your new community are all the right things to help make the process better!