Moving away from familiar surroundings can be exciting, but there are plenty of things to consider—especially if you have children. Whether you are moving long-distance, out of state, or internationally, there are a few things you can do to make this change easier for your little ones and set them up for success.
Here's some advice if you're moving with children:
#1. Tell Your Kids About the Move Before You Start Packing
It may seem easier to begin to pack your things and to tell your children about your move at the last minute. However, just like adults, kids need time to process new information. Picture how you would feel if you were taken to a new place for no other reason than, “You’re supposed to and it’s for the best.” You would have a million questions, and you wouldn’t feel secure in the decision unless you were given sound reasoning. Children are perceptive, and they do comprehend more than we give them credit for. So, it is important that you tell your kids that you are planning on moving to a new place before you begin to pack.
#2. Try to Stay Positive
No matter the circumstances of your move, try to stay positive. It is important you be excited about the move and you share that sentiment with your children. Your kids respond to things based on your emotions and how you present facts. As an example, picture taking your kids on a camping trip for a weekend. Envision that your attitude leading up to and while on the trip is mostly negative. Can you expect your kids to enjoy themselves if you are being negative about the trip? Of course not. The same goes for a new move. If you are sad, frightened, or frustrated about your transition, your kids will also be sad, frightened, or frustrated. In short, your kids will mimic your response to your move, so stay positive and your kids will surely do the same.
#3. Keep Your Kids in the Loop
Kids will have questions about your move, and you should do your best to answer them. While your kids trust you, they are also naturally curious. This means they will have questions that need answers. Expect questions like, “Are my toys coming with me? Is my friend going to be there? Why do we have to go?” For these questions and others, do your best to answer them honestly, but with a positive attitude. Absolutely do not lie to your children about a circumstance. If you tell your child that a friend is going to be at a new location and they won’t be, you need to realize that you just set your child up for failure. So be honest, and stay upbeat.
#4. Share Pictures or Visit Your New Home Before with Your Kids Before the Move
The loss of the security blanket of familiarity is one of the main reasons a move can be so difficult for children. Unfamiliarity and the unknown are some of the scariest things for adolescents (most kids are afraid of the dark for this reason.) In light of this, it is important that you familiarize your child with their new home in some way. If the move is local, take your child to visit the home and see the building to become familiar with the neighborhood. You can also visit nearby parks or play areas so your child can have a memorable place you can take them to when they are having difficulty in the new home. If the move is further away and visiting prior to transition is implausible, put a picture of the new house on the refrigerator so your children can regularly see the location. Point out what rooms the windows are attached to and particular oddities of the scene. Then, once you move there, you can show your children the oddities you had been talking about and they will feel more comfortable with the home.
#5. Encourage Your Younger Children to Help
How involved your child will be in the packing and moving process will, of course, depend on their age and ability. Even if you have a toddler, try to find creative ways to include them. Children adapt better to change if they take an active role in the process.
Here are some ways you can include younger children:
- Writing Practice: If your child is old enough to write, you might be surprised by how much they enjoy being the label maker. The result might not be pretty, but it should buy you time to pack.
- Little Helper: There are lots of decisions that need to be made, and you don’t need to make all of them! Your child can help decide which toys should be donated or what essentials they’ll want to be set aside for moving day.
- Make It a Game: Have kids that can handle some packing on their own? See if you can introduce some friendly competition to motivate them. First one to pack two boxes gets a special treat!
- Keep a Calendar: Get a calendar and let them cross off the days as the date of moving arrives.
No matter what including your kids looks like for your family, doing so will help make this transition smoother. When children feel like they have some control over a situation, it becomes less frightening.
#6. Work with Your Child’s Learning Style
Finding the right schools for your children is important because every child has different educational needs. Understanding the type of learning your child prefers will help you identify which school will be a good fit for them.
For example, try to observe your child when they learn something new. Do they get a better grasp of it when they hear something? Do pictures help them understand faster? Identifying how they interact socially is also worth considering when looking for a school near your new home.
#7. Explore After-School Programs & Sports Teams
Involving your children in after-school programs can be helpful for them to enhance their social skills outside of a school setting. Look for programs such as the Boys & Girls Club of America, YMCA, or Police Athletic Leagues—any of these can help your child grow socially and build a new group of friends.
#8. Know the Local Parks & Recreation Centers
Local parks and recreation centers are also vital to your family’s well-being. One, they are inexpensive places to play and bond with your kids. Two, having somewhere for them to explore might make the move smoother. At the very least, having space to play will help them think more positively about the changes, if they had not yet already.
#9. Get Help with Child Care & Moving
Moving with children can be challenging. One of the best ways to keep your stress levels low and avoid tantrums is to know when you need help. This will look different for every family. It might be as simple as hiring a babysitter to keep an eye on the kids during moving day. Or you might need someone to handle all of the packing and unpacking for you. Affordable Quality Moving and Storage is here to help take the burden off you with our comprehensive moving services.
#10. Moving with a Teen? Here Are a Few Tips for Older Kids
The idea of moving can be difficult for any teenager, especially if they don’t know what to expect. That's why it's important to share all the moving details with your family. Share details about the new neighborhood or unique features of your new home. This can help teenagers become familiar with the changes and make them feel integrated into the family’s decisions.
- Get Their Input on the Move: As you share all the details of your move with your teenager, ask for their input on major decisions. This can help them feel involved in the project and give them the opportunity to feel like their choices matter. This brings awareness of the future and can make them feel more in control of the situation. It can also be helpful to give them a project to work on, whether it is with remodeling or creating a packing plan.
- Be Supportive of the Transition: It will mean a lot to your teen if you show support and empathy for their challenges. You can do this by asking them how they would like to say goodbye to their friends. Do they want to throw a party, or would they rather have a weekend get-together with a few close friends? You can plan this together to ease the process of leaving. You can also take them on a tour of their new school. Research different clubs or teams they can join before school begins so they can make new friends.
- Get Them Excited About the Move: Another great tip to help your teenager cope with an international move is by getting them excited about the location you are moving to. Share the unique qualities and wonders of the country you are moving to. Maybe the place you’re moving to has great food, amazing shopping centers, or fun architecture. Regardless of what that unique quality may be, get your teen to see the wonders of your new home, so they become excited about moving.
- Make Memories: Moving is the beginning of a new chapter for your family. Get your family to engage in taking pictures and videos of the moving process. Encouraging pictures and videos can help your teenagers become engaged with the move in a creative way—aside from assigning moving “chores.” Although moving is a difficult process for many, they are still wonderful memories for your family!
Contact Our Santa Clarita Movers Today
Moving is a big change for a family. It affects adults, teens, and children in different ways, and trying to cope with it all can be difficult. At Affordable Quality Moving and Storage, our goal is to provide the professional moving services you need so your move can go as smoothly as possible. We can handle all of the heavy lifting, safely transport your belongings, and help you get settled into your new home. We serve all of Southern California from our locations in Santa Clarita, Temecula, Burbank, and San Diego. Whether you’re moving with children locally, to another state, or even internationally, we have the expertise and manpower to help.
Our Santa Clarita moving company has helped families make the biggest decisions of their lives gracefully since 1996. We want our customers to enjoy their moves by giving them time to dream big—while we handle things like packing, storing, and moving.