Moving is already stressful and adding children to the mix can make everything seem more overwhelming. You just want to get things done, but you are running after your kids, while trying to pack, load boxes, or provide movers with directions. Here is some advice on keeping kids busy and happy during your move.
The first thing you need to consider is: How far is the move? Depending on how far you are moving, can affect the reactions of your children to the change. A move across town won’t be as difficult as a new city or even state. Follow these tips to help plan ahead of time to make the move easier on your little ones.
Leaving their home is stressful for children, maybe even more so than it is for you. Keep in mind that a change in their behavior may be a reflection of this stress. Avoid severe punishments for poor behavior. Instead try to get them to talk about their feelings that are causing them to act out. They may be frightened to leave their friends behind or scared of having to make new friends. Discuss what the new home, city, school, or neighborhood will be like. This will help them look forward to the change, instead of fighting against it.
Also, you can have them take part in moving activities such as taping boxes together, sorting their toys, or wrapping up frames or dishes to feel involved and have a task to do.
Spending long periods of time in a car, plane, or at the airport can take a toll on your children. They may get upset, frustrated, act out, or start arguing with each other as a result of having nothing to do. Toys, coloring books, puzzles, or books can help keep your younger children entertained and happy. Make sure to keep some of these items out of the moving boxes and within reach during travel. Older children can normally choose their own activities, but you need to let them know how long the trip will be, so they can plan accordingly. Snacks, pillows, and blankets are also a good idea to bring along.
In the New home
Giving your kids a sense of responsibility can be a huge help, not only for you, but for their own sake. At your new home, while the movers are trying to bring everything in, your kids need their own little tasks they can do so as not to be in the way but still be preoccupied. Have younger children put their toys away or let them play with their toys in their new bedrooms. If old enough, they can start unpacking their new rooms, putting away clothes, help unpack simpler rooms like the bathroom or kitchen, or let them explore their new neighborhood and maybe find a new friend or two.
When everyone is on the same page during moving day, everything will go a lot smoother. Keeping the kids preoccupied will keep everyone happy and out of each other’s way. The move will be less stressful and go a lot quicker when everyone has their own personal jobs to do.