Guest Post by Megan SullivanNovember 15, 2013 - Author: Amy - 1 Comment
Preparing Your Family for a Long-Distance Move
For families with young children, moving can be incredibly difficult. And with all the big changes children have to face, moving is often harder for them than it is for adults. However, the following tips will help you prepare your children for a move, as well as help alleviate fears, anxieties and discomfort.
Discussing a Move with Your Children
When planning a long-distance move, it’s important to keep your children informed of all family decisions. Kids can feel powerless if they’re not kept abreast of new information, so try to include them in your decision-making process. Also, no matter the circumstances surrounding your decision to relocate, honesty is usually the best policy. State your position in the simplest of terms, and encourage your children to discuss their thoughts and concerns.
By being aware of the reasoning behind your move, children will likely feel less resentment over the upheaval. Answer each of their questions and try to empathize with whatever fears they may have. Relocating can be quite difficult for youngsters, and feeling like they have no say in the matter can only exacerbate their fears and anxieties.
Make Moving an Adventure
One great way to encourage kids to look on the bright side is to make your move as fun and interesting as possible. Prior to your move, do some family research on your new neighbourhood and the surrounding areas. Make a list of all the things you want to see, do and experience, and encourage your children to participate.
A few great exploration ideas include landmarks in your new area, museums, libraries, restaurants, parks and specialty shops. Make sure each child contributes, and make sure you stick to your plan once you’re settled into your new home!
Delegating Age-Apropriate Responsibilities
Moving is a lot of work. From hiring movers to making arrangements for pets, a lot goes into relocating an entire family and their belongings. To help relieve some of this stress, while also making your children feel included in the process, give them tasks and responsibilities relating to packing and moving. Older children can handle chores like packing up their clothes as well as finding moving companies and their phone numbers.
The younger children can help sort out their toys, games, books, etc. Also, in order to make room in your new place–not to mention prevent unnecessary packing–have your children go through their belongings and donate a portion to charity.
Visit Your New Neighbourhood
If possible, plan a family trip to your new neighbourhood prior to your move. If you’ve already bought a new home, it’s a good idea to bring children along for a tour; if you have yet to find a new place to live, you may want to include children on your house-hunting excursions. If family trips to your new area aren’t possible, consider showing your children pictures of their new home and neighbourhood.
If you have school-aged children, consider taking a tour of their new schools. If you can’t do this in person, most schools offer online virtual tours, so ask the school administrators if this is an option. By becoming acquainted with their new environment, children will be less overwhelmed and disoriented when it comes time for your actual move.
And there you have it! The tips provided here can help simplify your family’s long-distance move, as well as increase excitement and enthusiasm among children and parents alike!