Moving out of the place you and your family have called home for the important moments can be a bitter sweet experience. Even if it means a much needed upgrade and more space for the children to roam, there’s a lot to consider.
Special memories are around every corner, of bringing your little ones home for the first time, their first step or their first scrape in the back yard. Remember the worry you experienced when you moved them into their own room? Back then they were too young to know too much of what was happening but now you’ll probably start getting questions, excitement and even vocal disapproval.
Tackling this challenge with a plan will make this new chapter in your loves something you can all enjoy from the moment you start packing.
Talk moving with the kids
- Sit them down and have an open conversation. While there are many exciting aspects of a move, children often focus on the scary unknown when they feel they have no control of what is happening to them.
- Make them a part of the planning. No matter how old, they can be a part of the move. If possible take them to their new house ahead of time and show them their room. Discuss where their bed and toys might go.
- If you are moving further away, why not show your child images on the computer, a map or in books featuring your new location and why they might enjoy it. Local parks and cultural features are a great option. Indulge in adventure based stories they can relate to the move.
- Acknowledge the negative responses and focus on the positive. By addressing and abating their fears, they have the freedom to enjoy things they might not have even initially thought of.
Before the move:
- You know your audience. Explain the move in clear and simple terms. Sometimes a story can help children understand what is about to take place. You can make one up, create one together to get a better understanding of their questions and concerns, borrow orpurchase one.
- Some good ‘moving home’ books include Moving Day by Heather Maisner, Moving House by Anne Civardi or Bella and Stella come home by Anika Denise.
- Moving schools as well? This is where they spend a huge portion of their time and build friendships they feel they’re forced to let go of. Make sure not to neglect this topic . Many schools have open days or opportunities for new students to visit their classroom and new teacher if you think this aspect of the move may prove to be most anxiety inducing.
- If your child would be more receptive to a film, there are many that have an underlying theme of moving house. These include Casper the friendly ghost, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Karate Kid or Toy Story depending on your child’s age group.
- Let them pack some of their own things. This will help them feel like part of the process and feed off the excitement of what is to come
- Their sleep time might just be the best time to spring clean those things your family has outgrown or any clutter you don’t want to take with you. It’s a lot more challenging when they are awake, just make sure you dispose of any evidence.
- Keep a few of their favourite things on hand so you can produce it at the end of the day or when they are feeling anxious. A familiar favourite can be both exciting or soothing.
On the day of the move:
- Distraction is not just for magicians. For young children, simple things like bubble wrap and checking out the removal truck can distract any anxieties.
- They will want to get in on the action. Make sure there are some old plastic containers or sheets the kids can help move on the day. Sure they may end up playing with them or building forts but that could mean an extra half hour you get to focus on the move.
- Direct them away from the action. This is the last time for a while that you will have so many empty rooms available to you. Leave some toys out, set up a cubby with a sheet or boxes you can spare or set up an obstacle course. If they aren’t under foot, they’re less likely to get hurt.
- Make sure you have food on hand or somewhere your child can rest if you are expecting a long day. Nothing makes anyone crankier than being hungry and tired. This goes for you too.
- Sometimes it all goes pear shaped. Take a step back and a few deep breaths. Even the best planned move can be overwhelming when children are involved but how you react will set the tone for the rest of your day.
At the end of the day:
- Although you’ve done most of the moving, the kids are probably more exhausted than you are. Keep a DVD or two and a player or laptop on hand and watch them nod off to sleep in a matter of minutes.
- Take away food is your best friend. Know what’s around your new place and dial in dinner.
Baby proofing :
A new home means your baby has a whole new range of steps, electrical sockets and laundry cabinets to explore.
- Smoke detector
- Some other helpful websites to help you baby proof your home include Raising Children, Kidspot and Essential Baby.
There are always new memories to be made and new adventures to be had as your children grow up of and discover the joy of their new home. With the aid of a good removal team you’ll be surprised at how many memorable moments are actually made on moving day.