Moving with children

Making the move to a new home can be a very big change for every member of the family; however, for young children the experience can be particularly disorienting and upsetting.  An adult may see the relocation as a chance to change their lifestyle and begin anew, but for a child the prospect can seem like a world-changing event that has repercussions beyond just the months of preparing for and settling in after the move.  One of your main goals as a parent should be to deal with the confusion and attend to the needs of your child.  Establishing a dialogue with your child about the relocation is an important step, as this can address their concerns, create a horizon of expectations, and establish ground territory to proceed from.

Dialogue does not necessarily put everybody onto the same playing field or erase power imbalances within a family.  When the household does get together to discuss the move, everyone should be allowed to voice their opinions; however, not everyone may want to give an opinion or be ready to hear it.  You may want to practice with your partner before involving your child; that said, there is no one right way to talk to your child about the move except by making sure that you address the needs of all family members.

Most adults hate packing, but the reality is that a lot of children find it enjoyable and fun.  If they are old enough to be able to do so, it is a good idea to let them pack up their toys and clothes.  They might even want to decorate the boxes and give them the appearance of being homes for their possessions, which allows them to become involved and makes it much more enjoyable for them.  If you cannot stand the idea of packing at all, however, you can always get your professional moving company to do the job for you instead.

Having a goodbye party is another great way to make sure that the excitement keeps flowing.  Everybody loves a party, and it is an opportunity to celebrate with a boogie and a good drink; it also gives children the chance to say goodbye to the people they love.  If you are making a long-distance move then it is even more important for your children to have the chance to say goodbye to their friends and for you to say goodbye to yours, while at the same time making sure that the event has a positive spin to it.  Even if the relocation is not too far away, a party is still a way to have everyone celebrate your exciting new adventure in the same room.

If you are moving a long way away, making a memory board is a great way to both make something that can be put in your new home and to have fun with your children and allow them to use their creativity.