Packaging and Moving can be a challenge for anyone at any age, but it can be even more stressful for kids who aren’t part of the decision-making process. Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, there are always additional challenges to moving when kids are involved.
So, while uprooting a teenager or switching your child’s school is often difficult, moving a toddler has its own set of challenges. It’s important to let your child know that they’re not leaving their bed and toys behind, and that you will all be there together as a family when you move into your new home. The more they understand this, the easier it will be for them to accept this change in their life.
Helping a toddler deal with change is all about validating their fears and feelings, listening to them, and laying out expectations for them in ways that they can understand. Make your message about this change positive and clear, and reinforce it many times as you lead up to the move.
Start earlier than you think you need to. It happens to everyone–moving day sneaks up and you find yourself throwing things in boxes and speed-scrubbing floors while the moving truck is on its way. Get started packing and deep cleaning as early as possible so your family can be fully prepared for the big day.
There is nothing better than beginning to prepare the child well in advance of the move. It is the lack of certainty and the feeling that nothing is in their hands that really stresses out children. This can to some extent be taken care of, by preparing the child for what is to come. Providing as many specific details of the new city and your home will ensure that the child is suitably prepared. It is also very important to involve the child in age appropriate decision-making about the move such as allowing them to choose the decor of their new room. It is also important to explain to him that the important aspects of his life such as his pet or even his favourite toys will remain with him.
Above everything, ensure that both during the transition as well as post the relocation, the child knows that you are there to answer any queries that he might have. It is also important to acknowledge the child’s nervousness and not wish it away. The message that needs to go to the child is that while he or she is nervous about the move, you will do your best to ease the change as far as possible.
Keep to the routine: Recruiting your kids to handle simple jobs that need to be done prior to your move is a win for both of you. Give them lists that include cleaning duties and items that need to be packed before the move. It helps during the transition phase to stick to the child’s routine for him or her to derive a sense of familiarity. This holds good for even when you have made the move so that the child derives comfort in unfamiliar surroundings. In fact, when setting up the house, ensure you do up the child’s room first so that he draws comfort from familiar objects.
Color-code boxes: Keeping boxes organized, especially when you have too many tiny helpers, is no easy feat. Get colorful stickers or tape to mark each box for a fast and easy kid-approved organization method.
Pack overnight bags for everyone: Make sure every member of the family has a duffle bag with all the essentials. Use these bags for the last night in your old home and first night in your new home.
When in doubt, throw it out: Children tend to accumulate a lot of things they don’t need: broken crayons, old school assignments, buckets full of old toys and so on. Between their old junk and your old junk, you probably have a dozen boxes’ worth of stuff you don’t need to pack. Throw out as much of that junk as possible to save time and packing tape.
Stay in touch with old friends: A large part of the anxiety for kids is to do with losing their friends as also worrying about how they will make new ones. It is important for you to communicate that relocation does not mean losing touch with old friends. Depending on the kid’s age, of course, you can suggest ways and means of keeping in touch, whether it is that once-a-week phone call, letter or staying in touch through social media. Also arranging for a goodbye party or helping them create a scrapbook with memories of their friends will help them make the transition smoothly.
Similarly, speaking to teachers of the new school before joining to apprise them of the child’s anxieties will ensure that they take good care and also facilitate new friendships. In fact, if possible, try and take the child to visit the new school before the formal joining so the child knows what to expect on that day.
Stay positive: If there is one mantra that can ease the entire process, it is for parents to remain positive. Focusing on the good things about the move yourself will help you point them out to the child. It could be the fact that you are moving to a bigger house, a better climate or an area that has more facilities, or even that the school has a swimming pool. In due course, the positivity will rub off on the child and he or she will start looking forward to it as a new adventure. Above everything make the move a family event, such that it helps the family bond strongly and support each other through the entire process.
Despite your best efforts do expect some angst when it comes to the child, so that you are prepared to handle the situation better and can help them do the same.
Some Useful Links for Best Moving Companies in India.
- Packers and Movers Ahmedabad
- Packers and Movers Bangalore
- Packers and Movers Chennai
- Packers and Movers Chandigarh
- Packers and Movers Delhi NCR
- Packers and Movers Hyderabad
- Packers and Movers Indore
- Packers and Movers Jaipur
- Packers and Movers Kolkata
- Packers and Movers Lucknow
- Packers and Movers Mumbai
- Packers and Movers Pune
- Packers and Movers Dehradun