fun, kid-friendly moves
By Chuck Resnick
Moving can be stressful for children. The change can be overwhelming, but there are ways to make it easier on them.
It’s important to inform your kids about the family’s plans to move as soon as you can. The more time they have to prepare, the easier it will be for them, say child psychologists who suggest that they should participate in the decision-making.
If kids feel included and take ownership of their new home decision, the transition will go much easier.
Moving is a family process so share the excitement and responsibilities with every member of the family. Give everyone an age-appropriate responsibility. Kids will enjoy decorating our moving boxes. And when you are in your new home, it will be easier for them to find their stuff.
Throughout the move, stay as upbeat and calm as possible. Give your children a chance to express their feelings and try to be honest about your own feelings. Most children will feel some anger, sadness or may worry about the move. Reassure them they aren’t alone and it’s OK to have these feelings.
Involve your kids in the packing process and start packing items you will not need ahead of time.
Sentimental items your children treasure like special blankets, beloved stuffed animals and photo albums should be kept in a separate bag or box which they can keep close until moving day, and then bring with them to your new home.
Plan a date to tour your new neighbourhood with your family. If it’s not a long distance, why not ride your bikes and scope out your children’s favourite activities and even quick service or fast food locations, new neighbourhood tennis courts, soccer clubs, baseball associations.
Check with the local school Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or church to determine if there is a Welcome Wagon program, arrange a tour of their new school and church and meet the teacher or pastor ahead of moving day.
Make sure children say goodbye to the important people in their lives. Help them prepare a list of phone numbers, emails and addresses of important people in their lives.
Prepare cards that have their name and new address on them to hand out to friends. If you are moving within the same city, try to schedule a few play dates with their friends before your move day.
Give your kids an inexpensive digital camera to take as many pictures as possible of their friends prior to moving day. This way, they’ll have a reason to stay in touch as they share the photos.
Keep them involved with the sports teams they were associated with until the end of the season, so they can maintain their friendships while they make new friends in their new neighbourhood.
Child psychology experts agree that if kids know they can stay in touch with friends and loved ones, it will make the move less traumatic. Visit twomen.ca for a location near you.
—Chuck Resnick is vice-president, marketing and operations at Two Men and A Truck – Canada®.