If you’re a parent that’s recently decided to move, you obviously have a lot to think about. Not only do you have to deal with the staggering logistics that come with moving, but you have to think about your child too.
How do you explain moving to a child that’s always lived in the same house? How will they react? Every kid is different, and honestly, not all of them are going to take that news well. This is especially true when it comes to packing up their toys and other belongings.
Luckily, there are a lot of things that you can do to make the big move easier on both yourself and your kids.
First Prepare Your Child for the Move
The first and most important thing to do is to break the big news. You can do this whenever the time feels right, preferably when your little one is in a good mood. All children are unique, which means they’re also somewhat unpredictable.
Some kids might not even be phased by the news. On the other end of the spectrum, some kids might have a legitimate meltdown. It’s important to remember that moving can be a very emotional situation. This is true for some kids as well as some adults.
With that in mind:
Be patient with them. Explain why you’re moving so they feel included or if you have older children so they don’t feel like you’re taking them away from their friends or home.
Kids are smarter than a lot of people give them credit for, and explaining the situation can actually help a lot.
Additionally, don’t tell them that you’re moving in a way that makes your dread obvious. Kids can be very good at reading your expressions, and they will act accordingly. If you’re acting as though you expect them to be sad, they’ll probably get sad.
Instead, make it seem exciting! You’re going to a brand new place with a brand new home. They get a new room! They’ll have new adventures and make new friends. Focus on what they’re getting as opposed to what’s being left behind.
Take Care of the Planning
Before taking action on packing up your home, you need to think of logistics. Yes, the time has come! It’s time to figure out what you’re keeping and what you’re throwing out. Throw out, sell, or donate whatever you don’t plan to take with you. This could include old toys tucked away in a box, clothes that no longer fit, etc.
Next, you’ll need to get your hands on some boxes. You probably already have a few laying around, but more likely than not, you won’t have quite as many as you need.
Luckily, a lot of local businesses will be more than happy to give you some free boxes, if you don’t want to purchase all of your supplies. Most businesses throw boxes away on a daily basis, so you’re really saving them a trip to the dumpster.
Make Moving Fun!
One of the best things you can do to help your child adjust is to involve them! This will make them feel included in the process. This probably goes without saying, but keep in mind their age when it comes to the level of involvement because if a child is too young this could hinder you rather than help. Younger children are better off packing clothes, toys, and other small items.
Depending on your child allowing them to become involved, will make things go much more smoothly. If you want to take things a step further, you can make moving fun for them!
For a child, moving will usually either be sad or exciting! The way you frame the situation can greatly affect how they view the situation.
To aid you in making this situation a positive one, you can visit your local craft store! Make moving fun by using stickers and markers to label their boxes, and remember to involve your little one whenever you can.
Help Them Pack
The role that you play in packing for a move will greatly depend on your child’s age. That’s why we’re going to give you a few helpful tips to keep in mind when helping your kids pack, and we’re going to categorize those tips by age group.
6 Years Old and Under
When it comes to kids that are six years old or younger, most of the work is going to fall on you. Some kids this age will be able to take part in a sense, so you can still make them feel involved.
Just don’t expect them to lighten your workload too much. In this age group, they can help identify which toys they love the most and add a few things to boxes like it’s a game.
7 – 11 Years Old
Children within this age group will be more helpful when it comes to packing. However, you should still be involved if you want this done correctly and packed properly. Go through their belongings with them, and give them instructions so they know how to organize their things and what to pack.
You can start:
By giving them three piles to help add items to keep, donate, and throw away. Explain to them what exactly is included in each pile.
At the end of the day, you make the final decision within reason, of course. You don’t want them to feel that you’re picking through their beloved belongings and leaving them behind.
12 Years Old and Older
When it comes to the tweens and teens, they’re usually capable of handling most of their own packing and sorting. This will be a big weighted lifted off your shoulders.
They might need your help with a few miscellaneous decisions and packing fragile items, so remain available and become involved if need be. However, for the most part, you can give them their space and let them handle the majority of the packing.
Try to respect their decisions for what they want to take to their new home.
Moving with Kids: It Is What You Make It
Truth be told, sometimes no matter what you do, a child will still react negatively to moving. However, there’s a lot that you can do to decrease the odds of that happening. Try to make moving an appealing idea by focusing on all of the good things that come with moving.
Most importantly, make sure that your child feels involved. This will help them adapt to the situation. Your level of involvement will primarily depend on your child’s age, but sometimes a little parental supervision will be required.