5 Tricks for a Smooth Transition with the Kids
Moving can seem like a daunting task. There are so many things to think about, plan and organize with many strict deadlines that need to be met. Not to mention the added stress of having to do it all with the kids in tow. But don’t despair – we’ve got you covered. In this article, we cover some tips and tricks to help make moving with children a breeze.
One of the most important things you can do when you move in general, let alone with little ones, is to create a timeline of everything that needs to be done. This will help you stay organized and on top of things, and will ensure that nothing gets forgotten. First, create a checklist of everything that needs to be taken care of from the old house to the new one. Then, add in important dates such as when the movers will be coming, when utilities need to be switched over, etc.
This can not only give you a comprehensive view of the process, but putting these dates on a calendar and referencing them frequently can reduce some of the confusion and chaos in the lives of little ones who may not fully grasp what’s going on.
Involving your children in the moving process can actually help to reduce stress for them. As they see you packing up their things and getting ready for the move, it can be helpful to talk to them about what’s happening when, and why. If possible, take them to see the new house many times before you move so they can start to get familiar with the new space and neighbourhood.
On moving day itself, let them help out however they can. This can range from simple tasks like supervision while you pack boxes, to bigger responsibilities like helping carry small items to the car. Giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility can make the whole thing a lot less scary for them as they feel they’re helping guide the process rather than being dragged behind.
This is admittedly easier said than done, but it’s important to keep your kids’ usual routines as intact as possible throughout the moving process. This means keeping mealtimes, nap times and bedtimes as close to regular as you can. There will be some unavoidable disruptions and changes, but if you can keep much of their normal routine in place it will help them feel more comfortable during what can be a confusing time.
One of the hardest parts of moving with kids can be the first few nights. You’re likely to be both physically and emotionally exhausted from the move itself, and may not have had a chance to fully unpack and set up your new home. This can make it difficult for the little ones to settle in, so to help ease the transition, pack an overnight bag for each child with some of their favourite toys, games, books, stuffies or blankets. This will help them feel more grounded in unfamiliar surroundings, and will give you a chance to get the rest of the house in order.
Lastly, if your children have any questions about the process, make sure you’re open and honest. The more they understand the change that’s taking place in their life, the less scared they’ll be of what’s to come.
Lisa Fitzpatrick ABR, SRS
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