When it was just you and your spouse, making a move was easy as pie. But life has changed for you and you’re now parents. And not just of one child, but of two or more. Further, the age range of your children starts at just-getting-out-of-diapers to thinking-about-what-college-to-attend. Regardless of the number of children and their ages, you’ll have your work cut out for you as you plan your move. Here’s how to move with youngsters in tow.
- Tell them as soon as possible. As soon as you and your spouse know that you’ll be moving, then you need to tell your children. Hold a family meeting and explain when the move will happen, why you are moving, and where you’ll be moving to. This also means you’ll be asked a lot of questions and have to manage a lot of feelings. You and your spouse should expect much tension during that time, so prepare for it.
- Understand their feelings. Your youngest children may not grasp the significance of the move, but as you climb the age ladder, your children will be more aware. For younger children, the move may be perceived as fun, even exciting. For teenagers, it may be looked upon as dread, especially if they’re leaving friends behind. Be mindful of what your children are going through, regardless of their ages. Expect their emotions to vary, sometimes several times in a day. This is where you’ll need a lot of patience!
- Allow them to pack. Your children will have personal items and maybe lots of them. This means they’ll want to ensure everything they own makes it to their new home and without drama. Children of all ages (except for babies) can help pack. The amount of supervision required eases as they get older. At the same time, you’ll need to demonstrate to everyone how to set up a box and label same. Further, they’ll need to see how to pad a box and what to do with fragile items. Some children won’t be particularly interested in packing, so give them time to get the work done.
- Make time for friend time. Your move will be here before you know it. Don’t let the big day arrive without allowing your children to have special time with their friends. It is important to maintain a routine, including classes, sports, and other activities. If your child wants a play date, work to make it happen. Here, you can ask the friend’s parents to get involved by picking up and dropping off your child explains Allied Moving Companies.
- Keep them busy. You’ll be exhausted handling your job, the home and other activities. Still, you will need to manage your children’s lives to ensure that they remain a part of the moving experience. This means allowing them to pitch in with different chores, such as keeping their rooms clean, cutting the grass, cleaning off the deck, emptying the garage and other storage compartments, and more.
- Take them to the new home. If you are shopping for a new home, bring your family along. Allow your children to share their input about the houses you visit, especially as you narrow the list to a handful of properties. You might have your teens pull up school and neighborhood information on the Internet and share that information with you. When you and your spouse are ready to make a purchase, make it a big deal about it with your children. Its a cause for celebration and something that everyone should be a part of!
Finishing Your Move
Perhaps the biggest challenge with moving with children is finding things to do on the way to your new home. If your trip is many miles away from where you live, then you need to weave in some fun activities and stops along the way. Again, allow the computer savvy amongst your offspring to identify places of interest along the way. Make a point to stop at a few of them, ensuring that everyone has a say in what you will all see.