Moving With Children
Updated: May 7, 2019
The logistics of selling a home, buying a new one, and coordinating a move are hard enough without factoring kids into the mix. If your move involves children, it’s important to consider not just the details of the physical move, but also some of the emotional realities that may come along with it -- especially if you’ll be moving to a new town or school district.
Here are a few tips to make moving with children just a bit smoother (or at least, to give you a list of elements to consider!):
Problem solve in advance. Talk with your child about what will come along with the move, and together identify things that might be hard or sad or stressful. Then start to problem solve with your child to arm them with potential solutions before the move itself. Maybe you can role play certain scenarios -- like a first day at a new school -- to start to help them predict what that might feel like, and how they can react. Children tend to do better with expected stressors as opposed to unexpected ones.
Build ownership for your child around the move. Let your child feel like they have a distinct role in this big family shift. Have them help with a specific packing task, or let them choose the color of their new room. This can help them feel in control -- and feel like they have a distinct role -- amidst lots of out of control feelings.
Get into a routine quickly in your new home. Living out of boxes initially and being in a new space altogether can throw schedules off in a big way, but kids thrive in routine. Do your best to get back into your family’s lifestyle and flow as quickly as possible, despite the chaos of the move.
Make sure you know where your child’s most treasured possessions are packed. The last thing you want is to be spending a miserable first night in your new home because your child can’t find their favorite stuffed animal! Make sure the MOST important items for your child are very easy to identify -- and unpack them right away.
Consider getting childcare help. Whether it’s during the packing process, during the move itself, or while you’re working to get settled in your new home, it might be helpful to call in some backup in the form of family or a babysitter to hang out with your child while you get things in order.
Meet the neighbors together. This will benefit all members of the family! Explore your new neighborhood with your child in tow, taking time to knock on a few doors and introduce yourselves. This will help you and your child feel connected far more quickly.