While much information can be found on how to pack and move your stuff, not so much is written about moving your family. For little children, a move into a strange house can be scary, especially the first few nights. Children of any age are always affected by the moods of their parents, so if you are stressed out and irritable they will pick up on this and may become badly behaved as a result.
Here are some tips on how to move your family without going crazy:
- Make sure you explain to children about the move. If they have to move schools and lose friends, they may be very unhappy. Give them a way of keeping in touch – phone calls, exchanging email addresses or street addresses, whatever is appropriate to their age.
- When packing their toys and room, leave out their favourite one or two toys to take in the car and have with them when they arrive. Little children should keep their favourite soft toy.
- Don’t get rid of their stuff without their permission – or at least, their knowledge.
- Get them involved in the moving and packing process. Having jobs to do makes them feel important.
- Get older children to research the new area and find out what they can do and where things are – the schools, public library, skate park, swimming pool, whatever they are interested in.
- Try and visit the new home with your children beforehand so they have a better idea of what to expect. If this is not possible, show them pictures and point out all the good things. A big backyard, proximity to parks and pools, bike tracks etc.
- Visit their new school with them before you move in. Make sure their new school uniforms are ready to wear as kids don’t like to be different.
- On moving day make sure everyone is up early and ready to go with a backpack for their special things as well as snacks and drinks.
- When you arrive, unpack their goods first, especially favourite toys, books and their bedding. It will make them feel more at home. Lounge room ornaments and wall pictures can wait until next week.
- If toddlers are happy to stay with grandparents on their own, leave them there for moving day if possible.
- Use nightlights if the children want them – have one in the hall to show the way to the toilet for older children.
- If there are strange noises, explain to the children what is making them. These will be especially noticeable when moving from country to city or vice versa.
In this way your children will be able to sail through moving to a new location without too many worries or nightmares.