Preparing Kids for a Big Move
Moving can be an exciting time for families, but also a stressful one. Younger children, who thrive on routine and stability, might be wondering what is going on and can even be frightened when the boxes are broken out, their personal items are packed up and their lives are disrupted. With the right kind of planning and preparation, a move can even be fun. Here are several steps Jacksonville movers suggest that can help kids through a big move, and get them back on their feet in your new home.
Break the News
You wouldn’t like it if your boss suddenly started packing up your things and rearranging your office without telling you why; imagine how children would feel if their toys, stuffed animals and bedroom furniture are put into boxes and disassembled without them knowing why – especially if unfamiliar movers are brought in to help. As soon as you know that you’re going to move, explain to the children that you will soon be living in a new place. Listen to their response, and show understanding and compassion if they express any fears.
Keep Things Normal
During the packing and cleaning process, try to stick to a regular routine as much as possible. Continue to have mealtimes and family activities. As more household items are put away in boxes, things can start to look unfamiliar and surreal to young children; let them keep a few favorite toys out to reassure them. Better yet, allow each child to have his or her own special packing box of favorite items, to remain open and accessible until the day of the move.
Involve the Kids
You can change moving from a chore to a fun activity by involving the children in planning, packing and cleaning. Older kids may enjoy helping to wrap and box up delicate items, while the younger ones can delight in discovering how different the house looks with every box that’s filled. Label and put out several boxes, and let the kids retrieve the items that would go in each. Kids love to categorize and discover new situations, and packing can turn into a fun learning experience.
Be Prepared for Adjustment
Once you’re in your new home, there can be a period of several days to a few weeks when kids will adjust to their unfamiliar surroundings, especially if you moved to a different city. Understand that they may have to make new friends and get used to new extracurricular activities without their familiar teachers and coaches. This can be scary for kids, and they may be sad for quite some time at losing their old friends. If possible, invite their old friends over for a visit. Include their new friends in family activities. It can be difficult to determine if kids are going through a difficult time, so keep an eye on their moods and be alert for any signs that they might be having more trouble adjusting than is normal. In most cases, kids will bounce back just fine from a move, but sometimes you will need a little extra help from a school counselor or family therapist.
The process of planning, packing and moving is time-consuming and exhausting for adults and children alike, but by keeping things positive and getting help, especially from experienced Jacksonville movers, everyone can soon get back to a normal routine and enjoy their new home.