Relocation is a major decision that affects every member of the household profoundly. Children, especially, can find it difficult to come to terms with moving across country. Therefore, as a parent, it’s important to make this transition as comfortable as possible for your loved ones, and proper moving day preparation is necessary in order to reduce the levels of stress and anxiety.
Start Preparing for the Moving Day Weeks Before Cross-Country Movers Arrive
When should you start preparing for a move? Last-minute relocations do happen, especially if you are relocating cross-country alone. However, not starting the preparations on time often turns into a huge relocating mistake, and things can get even more complicated when relocating to a new state with a family. Therefore, once the decision has been made, you should immediately start thinking about your children and their needs.
One of the Best Tips for a Successful and Relaxed Moving Day Is to Have a Checklist
Is there a checklist for moving to another state? Of course, there is. Checklists are extremely important when organizing for a move, and even more so when relocating with children. The thing is, you’ll have a lot of things to take care of, like organizing important documents, finding a reliable cross-country movers group, or notifying all authorities about relocation. The point is that you can easily forget about something that is important for your children and having a checklist can ensure that that doesn’t happen. Here is what will definitely have to be included on your checklist for your children:
- Before making a final decision on where to live, you’ll have to be certain that a particular location will be suitable for raising your children. The most important thing to consider when relocating to another state will be the safety of the new environment.
- You’ll have to start searching for the best educational institutions for your children For example, many people start looking for a job as soon as they have decided to relocate. If you have kids, you should immediately start looking for a school as well.
- Before a cross-country moving company starts performing their packing services, you’ll have to decide which of your children’s possessions will be relocated. However, this decision won’t be entirely your responsibility. Your children will most likely play a bigger part in deciding what has to be relocated.
- You’ll have to dedicate a lot of attention to your children in order to reduce their anxiety about relocating. This will be a true test of your patience since kids can be pretty demanding, especially when something major like relocation is happening.
What should you not pack when moving? Should you empty drawers when moving? Do you need to remove clothes from dresser for movers? These are some of the questions that might seem trivial now, but once the relocation starts, they’ll suddenly appear overwhelming. Add to the mix parental obligations, and you could find yourself in a tough situation if not adequately prepared. Here is a useful video that will further explain what a good relocation checklist includes.
Here Are the Most Common Tips on How to Prepare When Relocating With Babies and Toddlers
Although children of this age have not yet fully developed their cognitive abilities, they can still feel that something is happening. In order to reduce the maximally the relocation stress, these are the two most important things to do as a parent:
- Planning a move to another city will take a lot of energy, which may lead to you dedicating less time to your loved ones. Children at this age receive a lot of attention from their parents, and they will feel when the attention is lacking. Therefore, you should try to spend time with them as much as you can during relocation, which will indeed be sometimes exhausting, but you have to make sacrifices as a parent.
- You should try to maintain the same routines. This means that your children’s bedtime and mealtimes should stay the same. This will help in making the transition to the new home much easier both for you and your children.
What Is the First Thing to Do on a Moving Day? Many Parents Take Their Toddlers to Babysitters Before the Movers Arrive
What to expect on moving day? Be sure that movers will have to circulate through your home for a certain period of time in order to load everything onto their truck, and toddlers can often feel uncomfortable during this procedure. Therefore, a common relocation tip for parents is to find someone to take care of their children while the movers are doing their job. This can significantly reduce their anxiety.
Preschoolers Will Demand a Lot of Explanations When Relocating
Kids at this age will understand that a change is happening, but they won’t know what that change entails. Therefore, you’ll be faced with a lot of questions. Some of these questions can be pretty tough – “Are we relocating with our pets?” or “Are our grandparents coming with us?”. Whatever the decisions might be, your children need to be notified and prepared to face them. You have to show patience and confidence when giving explanations and have to assure them that there is nothing to worry about.
A Great Way to Prepare Preschoolers for Relocation Is to Include Them in the Process
While looking for a new home, you should invite your kids and, for example, go through all the neighborhoods on Google maps together. If you are planning on visiting all the locations personally, the good idea is to bring your children with you. In that way, they will familiarize themselves with the new home and surroundings long before the actual relocation. You could even potentially meet other families in the neighborhood, and your kids can meet with other kids.
Another good idea is to include your kids in the packing process. By doing so, you will ensure that they don’t feel neglected. For example, you can tell your children to start packing their toys and other favorite objects. This will keep them occupied, but also, you’ll get a much clearer idea of what to get rid of since they will most likely discard all the items that they have outgrown. Furthermore, packing household items together can be a fun family activity that can take your mind off other relocation problems.
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School-Age Children Often Have the Most Difficulties Accepting Relocation
Puberty by itself can be chaotic, and relocation can often cause even more difficulties for a teenager. The main reason behind this is that children at this age have already developed close friendships, and the thought of leaving friends behind is frightening for most teenagers and is often the cause of depression after relocating. Therefore, you must show incredible patience when talking with teenagers about relocation. Be sure not to show anger or surprise if you are faced with some harsh remarks from your children. Give them space, and always show understanding when talking to them. Empathy is the key.
Reassuring them that they can stay in touch with their friends is important, and luckily, social networks and online games help a lot. If possible, you can even plan ahead some potential visits back to town. But also, you need to try and instill confidence in them to make friends in the new city. All in all, teenagers have to be present when important decisions are being made, and they should be able to voice their opinions. Therefore, they should actively participate in choosing the location, and often, your children’s opinions will matter the most.
Here Are Some Common Practices That Many Families Employ When Relocating
You can be sure that there will be a lot of pressure when relocating as a parent. However, you can take comfort in the fact that you are not the first parent that is going through this, and families are more than willing to share their experiences. Here are things that you can do to ensure a stress-free relocation experience for your children.
Preparing Bags of Essentials
When relocating, you’ll have to pack a bag of relocating essentials for each family member. This means packing clothes, hygiene supplies, kitchen utensils, and such for the first few days while the unpacking takes place. However, your children’s favorite items should be included in the essentials. So, if you are relocating with toddlers, don’t forget to put their favorite toys or electronics for your older children. Such items can provide much comfort.
Unpacking Kids Objects First
Furnishing children’s rooms first is always a good idea. When placing relocating labels on boxes, parents often label all boxes with children’s possessions to be packed last. This means that once the unloading and unpacking start, your children’s belongings will be taken out first. You should arrange the place to be comfortable for your children as quickly as you can as it will reduce anxiety a lot.
If possible, travel together. First of all, if you have decided to drive and are relocating with a baby, you need to make sure that the vehicle has a baby seat. However, traveling together is usually a wonderful experience (if you are relocating with a dog as well, even more so) that can really soothe both your and your loved ones’ minds.
Donating Unnecessary Things
Consider donating all the toys and other possessions that your children don’t use anymore. As mentioned before, when preparing for a move, families often realize how many unnecessary objects they have in their possession. Donating to charity is always a beautiful gesture that makes a relocation all the more worthwhile.
Assigning Responsibility to Your Kids
If you are relocating with teenagers, let them come up with their own decisions about their rooms. This means that they will get to decide on wall painting and furnishing, which will certainly make them feel a lot more comfortable.
Gathering the Necessary Documentation
Don’t forget to take all important documents like school and medical records. As mentioned, you’ll need to enroll your children at different schools and gain access to all necessary medical institutions. Therefore, it is best to collect all paperwork in a timely manner.
Doing Research Together
Do research about a particular place together with your children. For example, if your kids are practicing some sports, look at all the available facilities where they can continue to do so. Also, check all other entertainment venues like playgrounds, parks or cinemas. If a particular location seems interesting to your children, that can be a true confidence booster.
Your Children Can Benefit a Lot From Relocating to a Different Home
There are many reasons to move to a different location with your children, and parents often make this decision because of better education and environment. However, preparing your children for the move is indeed difficult. After all, you, yourself, will most likely feel a certain degree of nostalgia and sadness about leaving, and one can then only imagine what children can go through. Therefore, always first put yourself in their shoes before making any judgments.