​Tips for Moving with Children

Jennifer Coloma

Moving with children is never easy. The act of moving by itself is no walk in the park, with finding a home, planning the relocation, packing all the items, making sure finances are cleared, ensuring friends and family are aware, and so forth—adding children to the mixture can make moving appear impossible.

But with the right planning and the right interactions, you can make moving with your beloved children a thousand times easier. The following is a guide on how to move with children of all ages.
Suggest Moving

Although it seems odd to suggest moving to your child, it will actually make the act of informing them of the upcoming move much easier if you’ve already planted the idea in their brain. Doing this will also make the child feel as though they are part of the decision to move, which is crucial. As soon as you know there is a move in the future but don’t yet have the exact details, begin talking to your children about the concept of moving. Be sure to emphasize all the wonderful aspects of moving: getting a new and better room, painting their room a certain color, a bigger yard, a neighborhood with more children or playgrounds and sports fields, a nicer school, etc.

For example, if you have multiple children, maybe the benefit is that each child gets their own room; if you live in the city or an apartment and don’t currently have a yard, maybe the benefit is that you will have a yard with the next home; if you live in a school district that doesn’t offer recess time, maybe the benefit is that the new school district mandates recess; etc. For high school-age children, some benefits could be: a larger selection of electives, the opportunity to join a sports team, a school closer to home and therefore a shorter bus ride, etc.

With suggesting moving, the primary goals are to get your child to A) express what they would want out of a move and B) express excitement for the prospect of a potential move. By knowing what they want from a move in advance, you can then coordinate the upcoming move such that their wants/needs are met as closely as possible, further making the move easier. With older children, keep in mind that one of the hardest parts of a move is staying in touch with friends. Today’s technology makes staying in touch much easier than before, but it’s always good to bring up the various possibilities, from Skyping and texting friends to using social media. When possible, the ability to visit old friends is always a great item to bring up.
Inform Your Child of the Move

Once the move is certain, break the news to your child with a family meeting. Be sure to draw from earlier conversations and emphasize all the wonderful new parts of the move. If your move is a military relocation, then depending on the age of your child, they may be concerned that this isn’t a move but actually a deployment. In this event, clarify the difference between a move and a deployment and be sure to reassure them that you are staying.
Give Your Child Control

Ideally, at this stage, you’ve already given your child a sense of control by having them contribute their thoughts on what the new home should have to meet their particular needs. Once the move is underway, additional ways to give your child control include:

Assigning them a specific task to do on moving day, such as packing a special bag to take with them in the car, on the plane, on the train, etc. This will help keep them preoccupied while you’re packing and moving furniture. Children often have favorite toys that they’re particularly concerned about losing or prefer not to be without, so having them pack a special bag will help give them peace of mind and ensure those toys are safe during the move.

If traveling by car, include some of your child’s favorite snacks to help make the move an adventure. If you’re driving across the country, take it a step further and plan out a few stops at interesting places (museums, monuments, etc.) and rest stops where your child can get out and run around, such as playgrounds. Giving your child the chance to stretch their legs will help decrease the likelihood of an outburst from being cooped up in a car, and help tire them out so they’re more likely to nap through the drive.

Determining what their future room should look like by drawing it. Not everything can be incorporated, but this will tell you more about what your child is hoping to get out of the move, how to help them achieve it, and provide your child with a sense of control in the move.

Have your child create a pre-moving-day checklist of which items are especially important to pack, which should stay with them during the move, and so forth.

Have your child maintain a moving journal, such as the one we provide below, and document their journey from their old home to their new home. This journal will give them another outlet through which to express their emotions.
Getting Your Child to Pack

The child who has a lot of dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, or army men may not want to pack their toys for fear of the toy being frightened or injured. In this event, tell them that their toys need to go to sleep by being packed away during the move, otherwise they will be frightened and they may injure themselves in their fear. Once you’ve reached the new house, you can wake the toys up together by unpacking them; the toys will then be excited about being in a new home. This tactic works best on children under ten years old.
Listen to Your Child

Even very young children are capable of voicing their fears and concerns in some way. Be sure to listen to these concerns and answer any questions they have: acknowledging their worries will go a long way to alleviating them. As is the case with adults, children just want to be heard.
Maintain Your Child’s Routine

As challenging as this may seem during something so uncommon as moving, it’s important to maintain as much of your child’s typical routine as possible throughout the move and to reestablish it once in the new home. For example, if you have a ritual for going to sleep, maintain it even when the house has been mostly boxed up. If you eat a particular type of food on a certain day of the week, be sure to keep doing that as well. These routines will help ground your child and make the move appear less foreign and frightening, and more natural and exciting.
Be Prepared for Regression

Moving is just as stressful for your child as it is for you. As such, be prepared for your child to regress temporarily, especially if they’ve only recently been potty-trained. Regression may even occur after you’ve moved and as your child is adjusting to the new environment.
Enjoy the New Home Together

Home may be where the heart is, but it doesn’t always feel like that right away. It takes some work to make a house feel like a home. Even though there will be a lot of unpacking to do, take it slowly and unpack the items that make you and your children feel most comfortable and at home first. These small touches, such as favorite family photos and throw blankets, will help bring the house to life. In addition, a great way to welcome your children to their new home is to have a housewarming present waiting for them in their room, bathroom, or closet. If it’s a toy, you can encourage your child to show the toy their new home and go on a tour through the house – this will also help ease the transition for your child and give them an outlet to deal with any nervousness from the move.
Remember, children pick up very easily on emotional cues from their parents. If you’re nervous or agitated about the move, then your children will be similarly nervous and agitated. But if you’re excited about the move, then your children are much more likely to enjoy the move or at least handle it well.

Facing my biggest fear!

I know in the big scheme of things that this nothing, but it is a big thing for me. My fear of going blind, losing a foot or having a stroke has been “in my genes”as they say but I have ignored it. You know, if I don’t  acknowledge it then it won’t happen. Well this past week I have had to acknowledge it even though that all these years the last 52 years I have not wanted to. The term diabetes scares the bejesus out of me and it has happened. The doctor looked at me and told me that I am type 2 diabetic.  It could have been something worse but it was an eye opening statement still. So taking this time to reflect this past week and I have decided it is a sign to make changes. It is not a death sentence. So I have decided to make changes in my life to get rid of it. I cannot fathom losing my eyesight nor losing the ability to be mobile in a mobile world. It may be in my genes but so is alcoholism and I have beat that. So on my 52nd birthday I am making change so I can see and get to my daughters and sons weddings and see my grandchild when it happens. I enjoy seeing the sunrise and sunsets. The smiles on my clients faces hearing the clear to close, at closings and being able to see them move into the house they have saved for a very long time to get into. So how are we going to do this. I am occasionally write about my trip to beating diabetes and losing the fear of pricking my finger twice a day. And lose the prescription to the medicine does help me keep regular if you know what I mean. So how we going to do this, we are going to maintain and follow a regular diet which means I don’t know yet. That’s why I’m doing a lot of research to get the facts on how to use food to control and regulate my blood sugar. I am going to start walking a small amount so I can build up to a larger amount. And what the heck maybe even signed up to run a race. That’s a long-term goal on that one. If you don’t mind like I said occasionally I am write about my good days and my bad days and if you have any comments suggestions or thoughts please let me know. Because I know I am not the only one out there who’s in this situation and I’ll always use the experience of others to help me and guide me to a winning pass. So far my first experience which diabetes is the fear of the needle. I’ve had this fear of the needle foremost my life. I remember the first time I passed out was back as a freshman in high school in which I had to get a tetanus shot. The doctor had me in a chair asked if I felt ok and I said of course. I landed on landed on the floor. Since then, I get the sweats, increased pulse, and the anxiety of getting a needle put in my arm. It took me approximately 10 minutes my first sugar test yesterday do it. I did the test this morning and I almost got some blood on my finger. I think I hit the button and pulled it away from her finger about the same time. I did get some on the tab to give me a blood sugar rating. Going to hopefully have better luck this evening when I’m going to do it again. 

I’m off to my mom on Mother’s Day, and see my mother-in-law grave also today. The big stressor is what am I going to cook today for my wife and mother of two. She like starch and she likes her carbohydrates so it might have to be something with mashed potatoes and meat. Thank you if you made it this far in this posting and please leave any comments or thoughts the help me out. Thanks again!