Last updated on August 10th, 2023 at 05:42 pm
Moving is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. Even if you’re excited about heading to a new location, so much goes into the process that it can feel overwhelming. When you have young kids at home, that can amplify the stress even more.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to prepare yourself and your little ones for a big move. While moving is always going to be a bit stressful, taking the time to plan and prepare will make a difference, and might even help to boost everyone’s excitement about this new adventure.
With that in mind, let’s go over a few tips you can use as your prepare for a long-distance move with young children.
Keep Them Involved
Moving takes time, and it’s typically something you plan for weeks or months before it actually happens. While your kids won’t be making any major decisions, they shouldn’t be left in the dark. The earlier you talk to them about moving and the more you keep them involved, the more likely they’ll feel excited about embarking on this new journey, rather than feeling hesitant about it.
Start by explaining the move to your children and what it will mean for your family. There are plenty of reasons people move to new cities or parts of the country. You might want to be closer to family, attend a different school district, or you might be required to move for work. You can also talk about some of the benefits of moving to a new place, including:
- Getting a fresh start;
- Enjoying a higher quality of life;
- Gaining new experiences.
Of course, some of those benefits might also be concerns for your little ones if they have to go to a new school and essentially “start over”. Don’t be afraid to address those concerns and assure your child you will work through them together.
After that initial conversation, keep your kids in the loop as much as possible, especially if you are moving abroad. Get them involved in the home-buying process by deciding on the right house as a family. Or, if you already have a property picked out, show them photos online, let them pick out their room, or start shopping for different decor items they can use once you get there.
Long-distance travel can be taxing on everyone, but it’s especially important to keep your kids safe, happy, and even busy when you’re finally making the move from one location to another. One of the best ways to reduce travel strain on everyone is to get help from professional movers.
Packing up your entire life in boxes and crates and hauling them on your own can add to your moving stress, or even put you at risk of getting injured. If you have to do it on your own, consider using ramps, dollies, and other tools and resources to make the process easier.
When you’re on the road, you can keep your kids’ spirits up and help them to stay entertained by:
- Downloading movies, shows, or educational games on a tablet for them;
- Playing car games;
- Packing their favorite snacks;
- Talking about all of the things you can do when you get to your new home.
Most importantly, give yourself plenty of time to make the trek from one home to the next. If possible, give yourself and your kids enough time to get settled into your new location before they have to start school or venture out into the community for the first time.
As you prepare for your move, taking care of details like changing your address and making sure utilities are set up will mean that you’ll breathe easier on moving day.
By taking things slow on the trip itself and when you finally arrive, you’ll all be able to avoid the additional stress and anxiety of having to dive right into your “new life” right away.
What to Do Once You’ve Arrived
Preparing your children for the reality of a move doesn’t necessarily stop when you’ve arrived at your new home. Once you’ve started to unpack your belongings and put rooms together, you can make the transition to your new location even easier by preparing your kids for what to expect.
Consider taking a night out with the family to explore the community. Go to a local restaurant. Take in some entertainment or go to a nearby park.
When it comes to your children’s school, consider volunteering, connecting with other parents, and planning a walk through the building with your child’s teacher.
Don’t hesitate to get your kids involved in things that might interest them, too. Visiting the local library is a great way to find out more about community events – especially for kids.
Children are resilient and there’s really no “right” or “wrong” age to make a move across the country. But, you can make the experience easier on them and your whole family by doing some extra planning and preparing.
Keep these tips in mind as you navigate the process, and before long you’ll feel just as at home in your new place as you ever did in your old one.
Have you made a big move with your children? Feel free to share your tips for a smoother transition in the comments.