Anyone who’s ever moved homes can attest to the fact that it’s no small feat. Add kids to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for some serious stress. Even if you’re just headed a few blocks away from your current home, moving can be a big deal, especially for your little ones. Fortunately, you can easily avert disaster by trying to make the day special for them. Just follow these easy tips and you can enjoy a happy trip to your new home:
Make sure they know what’s going on:
The very idea of moving can be a confusing one for children, especially young ones. If possible, let your kids check out their new digs in the weeks leading up to your move and show them just where they’ll be living. The excitement of having a new place to decorate or a room of their own may outweigh any worries they have over the move.
It’s pretty much universally true that a hungry kid is a cranky kid, so make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand to tide them over throughout the big day. Keep in mind that you probably won’t have access to many of your cooking tools or appliances, so keep easy, healthy treats, like dried fruit, nuts, and cut-up veggies on hand.
Let them help:
Your kids may not be big enough to strap an armoire on their backs or park the moving truck, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help on the big day. Give each little one a suitcase to pack themselves — this can help them understand the concept of moving from one home to another and make them feel useful at the same time.
Get them out of the house:
If having your little ones underfoot seems like too much to ask, hire a babysitter for the day to get them out of the house and let them see your new town (or, if you’re staying in the same place, just check out some special events). If you’re in Chicago, take them to the Shedd Aquarium and for some skating at Millennium Park. For New Yorkers, a trip to Serendipity 3 can make the whole experience less stressful. If you’re about to call Los Angeles home, make a day of it at the Tar Pits in La Brea; if they have a fun activity planned, they won’t notice the stressful aspects of the move.
Talk to them about their feelings:
Don’t assume that, just because your kids are young, they don’t have strong feelings about saying goodbye to their home. Before the big day, come up with a list of things your kids will miss about their old house, and all the things they’re excited for in the new one. And remember, it’s equally important to talk about your own feelings and prioritize your own mental health. One great way to do this is by speaking with a licensed counselor, such as the ones available at BetterHelp.
Take the stress out of your move by making sure your whole family is on board with what’s going on. Putting a few plans in place before the big day arrives can make turn a stressful day into a happy new start in no time.