Moving long-distance can be stressful when you only have yourself to worry about. When you have kids, this becomes much harder.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to minimize the stress of the move on you and your children.
Talk to them about the Move
A lot of parents leave talking to their children about the move too late. This can cause several problems, depending on the age of your children. While children under the age of 6 will generally not have a problem with a move, older children have more concerns.
You need to start talking to your children about the move as soon as possible. This gives them time to become used to the idea. They can also ask any questions they have, which can help them feel better about the move.
Some of the concerns your children have about moving will be common ones such as leaving friends and having to start a new school. Others are ones that you might never think about.
When you talk to your children about the move, you need to be as reassuring as possible. Being too hard on them can cause a negative connotation with the move, which makes the whole process harder.
Get Them Involved In the Move
While this is hard with smaller children, you can easily get older children involved in the move by giving them some moving and packing tips. This will give them some control over a process that they feel is completely out of their control. The way you get them involved will vary depending on their age and abilities.
All children can help packing up their rooms. You can also get their help in sorting everything that should be kept and what should be donated or sold before the move. If you have small children, getting them to part with something might be harder than with older children.
Another way to get older children involved is by getting their help in furnishing the new house. If you need to get rid of some of your furniture, you can ask them to look for new pieces of the house. Children of any age can be roped into helping with decorating as well.
To do this, you need to ask them about what they want their room to look like. If you’re going to keep them away from the rest of the moving preparations, you can task them with designing their room. While they do this, you can get the rest of the house sorted for the move.
Have a Visual Countdown
If you have younger children, a visual countdown will help keep them excited about the move. The visual countdown could be a calendar telling them how many days are left until the move. If you want to be more creative, you could make a paper chain. As each day passes, your children can rip one link off the chain.
If you have teenagers, this might not be the best way to prepare them for the move. They have a better understanding of time than smaller children and may not like the visual representation of the move.
However, if you have teenagers and younger children, you should ask the older child to help the younger one stay excited and on track for the move.
Visit the New House
This is hard to do with some long-distance moves, but it can be very helpful when preparing your children for the move. Visiting the house with the kids gives them the chance to see where they are going to live. They will be able to visualize their new life and can choose the room they want.
If you are moving across the country and cannot visit the new house, you should show your children pictures. Many agencies have virtual tours that you can show your kids as well. This will help them get a better idea of the new space.
If you can get to the new house, you should also take your kids to their new school. Starting a new school can be daunting for any child, and seeing the new school can ease their feelings.
Prepare for the Trip
While moving out of state with kids and the implications of this can be challenging, you also need to prepare for the move itself. How you do it will vary depending on the age of your children. Young children can become cranky on long journeys, and you need to keep them occupied.
Older children can be easier to move with because they keep themselves entertained. Of course, you also need to consider how you are traveling. Long drives can become boring for any children.
There are a lot of steps that you need to take to prepare your children for a long-distance move. Talking to them about the move in an open manner is important, and you need to answer all their questions. Getting them involved in the move is also helpful as it gives them a bit of control over the situation.