At some point in your family’s life you may be faced with a long-distance move. It could be to the next town, next state, or across the country. Moving can be overwhelming enough for parents. So, imagine how kids must feel leaving behind their home, school, and friends. Here are few tips to make the move a little less of a sad thing and more of an adventure.
Yes! Make it an adventure. Prepare your children by making the move a story-like adventure. Include details about why and where you are moving and how long it will take. Talk about how you will be traveling to your home whether by car, plane, bus or train. Either way, tell them what they can expect to see on the trip and think of travels games that will make it interesting. Don’t forget to bring along toys, books, a favorite pillow or whatever else will make the trip enjoyable.
Let them help prepare for the move! Children can help with packing by separating their belongings into “categories.” If you plan to get rid of some things, especially to a charity, explain to them how they will be doing a good deed by sharing with others. If you will be packing yourself let them write their own name on their boxes. Have them write their name on labels ahead of time if you will hire a moving company that will do the packing for you. Don’t forget to talk about what their new room will be like.
Saying good-bye to friends. This will probably be the toughest part of the move. Help them create special keepsakes to share with their friends. Take plenty of pictures to make a scrapbook or online album they can look at whenever they miss their friends. If they are not old enough to use a computer, share email addresses with their friends’ parents so that they can become “pen pals.” It might also be fun to teach them how to write and mail letters…it’s becoming a lost art. They should say good-bye to their teachers as well, if school is still in session. Reassure them that they will make new friends.
What about their pets? This can be a tough one for the whole family if you’ll have to leave pets behind. If so, let the family work together to find a new home for your pets. Reassure your children that they will be happy in their new home. Take plenty of pictures. Hopefully, your pets will be able to make the move with the rest of the family. Let your children help with the travel plans. If the pets will be traveling separately explain to the children how they will travel, who will take care of them and try to imagine together what they will be doing. Let them draw pictures of the family that your pets can “pack” with them. If the pets are traveling with you, have the children create a feeding and potty plan, if necessary.
Hopefully, these tips will make your move stress free for you and your children. If you are moving to the League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, Clear Lake or Houston area soon, I would love to help you find your new home. Give me a call!