Relocation is stressful, but many of us will go through it at least once in our lives. The state of the economy also means more people are moving to find permanent jobs. If you’re facing such a situation, your family may be anxious. You need the right tips and tools to make the transition as easy and enjoyable as you can.
Announce the Move Early
Experts recommend announcing the move at least a month in advance, especially if your children are younger (10 and down). Explain what will be different, but focus on the important things that will stay the same. For example, if you’re only moving a short distance, assure them that “Mom and Dad will keep their same jobs and you will go to the same school.” Take your family on a tour of the new house if possible. If you live nearby, try to visit multiple times. Make lists of things to do at one month, two weeks, one week, and the day of the move. Stick closely to these.
Give the Kids Things to Do
The decision to move is an adult one, but everyone should be involved in the process in some way. Give each family member age-appropriate chores and tasks. The youngest children can put together a bag of favorite toys, books, and games to take with them in the car on moving day. Older school-age kids can pack their own things and help younger siblings and perform light to moderately heavy cleaning chores. Teens should help Mom and Dad pack big items, do the heavy cleaning, and help with pet care.
Focus on Positive Changes
Keep everyone’s interests and favorite activities in mind, and focus on those when preparing for a move. For example, if you have a bookworm in the family, show him or her where the library or bookstores are in your new neighborhood. If you have an athlete, find a basketball or Little League team. If you’ll be near new restaurants, museums, or other attractions, play these up and ask kids what they’re looking forward to visiting once the move is complete.