Moving is very stressful; anyone that has had to pack up their life more than once knows the feeling. Adding kids to the mix can make it even more difficult. No one wants to up root their children from their home, friends and school, but sometimes life works that way. Here are some tips we can offer to help smooth the transition.
Have a family meeting
Announce to your kids that you’re moving over a family dinner where there is room for conversation and questions. Make sure you show your excitement and explain the impact it will have on everyone, not just them. Give them an opportunity to express the feelings and concerns they may have.
Get their feedback and include them
Have them create a list of amenities they would like to see in a new apartment. Just like you have must haves and no-no’s, they have some as well. By asking them their opinions you empower them and make them feel included. Add their requests to your list and start hunting. Make sure you give them the opportunity to join you in the apartment search. Including them in the decision making will often give them a less pessimistic feeling about the move. This can also create excitement for young kids, giving them ideas on how they would set up their rooms and space.
Learn about your neighborhood
Learn about your new community and share with your kids. One of the best ways to do so once you have picked a new place to live is by exploring the community. Spend some time finding new hangouts in the neighborhood. Finding new attractions such as playgrounds, parks, movie theaters, museums or ice cream shops and bakeries will help get your kids excited to explore a new place.
Find the positives
Make a list of features that the new apartment and community can offer your kids. Swimming pools and game rooms are typically a big hit among children in apartment communities. Give them an opportunity to design their new room, what furniture they would like where, new posters for their walls, and maybe a new bed set to spruce it up.
Packing is always a struggle. Enlisting your children’s help especially when packing their things is important. Letting them keep their favorite toys from being packed until last can help ease the transition. Like Andy in the movie Toy Story did, bringing your child’s “Woody” and “Buzz” in the car with you can help make them more comfortable when traveling to their new home. Letting them label their own boxes will let them know where their things are during the move and give them a sense of familiarity in the new location. On the day of the move, it may be a good decision to ask for some childcare help. That could mean taking them to a play date or just having a family member come help supervise.
Plan a small party for your children and their friends from home once you get settled into your new apartment. If you have moved out of your children’s school district, having a get together with their close friends will show them that they will still be able to see their old friends and they won’t just be forgotten. Inviting new friends is also a good way to show your kids they can meet new friends as well.