How to Move with Your Children

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How to Move With Kids

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Having kids changes everything--and so does moving. What happens when these two things collide? It could be chaos. Luckily, there are ways to help your children deal with a move--maybe they can even help you. You also need to know what to do with your children on moving day if they are too young to help. How do you move while keeping your kids' needs in mind?

Telling your kids about the move

A move can be quite difficult for your kids, and they may be resistant to moving at first. Tell them about the move early and try to explain why it is necessary.
  • Be compassionate. Realize that moving can feel like the end of the world for kids.
  • Be sensitive to their current friendships. Don't tell them that they'll make new friends, even if that is true.
  • Explain the move's advantages. If the move could make you more money, include a gift for the child as part of your moving budget. You could also highlight fun features of the new house like a swimming pool.
  • Let children help pack and plan for their new room. Giving them something positive to do will help them feel good about the move.
  • Allow children to stay in touch with old friends through social media or phones if they are old enough.
  • Research the new schools at the destination and find out their advantages. Highlighting the positive changes should help ease some of your children's apprehensions.
  • Give them time to adjust. Don't overreact if they overreact. It is normal for your children to be upset about moving, but in time they will feel better.

What you should do with kids during the move

Making sure your kids are happy with the move is one thing, but you also have to consider moving day. Your children's ages and general maturity determine what they should be doing on moving day. Ask these questions when evaluating your child:
  • Are your children emotionally ready to move? Children who are still resistant to the idea will be stubborn during the packing, loading, transportation, and unpacking processes. 
  • Are your children old enough to pack and carry their own things?
  • Are your children big or old enough to help carry boxes on moving day?
  • Are your children small and immature enough to be running around (and in the way) on moving day?
  • Will your children need supervision on moving day?

Kids younger than 7

Small children should be removed from the moving activities if possible--send them to a relative's house or a daycare centre. Packing and loading items takes strategy and physical strength. Small children will just get in the way during this process.

Even if you have hired professional movers to do the heavy lifting, having your children running around could be dangerous to everybody. Small children could get stepped on--or they could be afraid of the movers. For that matter you, as a parent, could feel uneasy about having these strangers interact with your children. Even if the movers are friendly and claim they don't mind, it is best to keep small kids out of their way.

Kids that are 8 to 12

If your kids are pre-teens, what you do with them during a move depends on your judgement of their maturity. You should be able to keep them around on moving day, but it may be a lot to ask them to actually help out.  

Some kids this age will be willing to help with the move. Let them pack and carry their own things with some supervision. It is important to encourage this help but you still need to make sure that they do everything properly and safely.

Other kids this age will be bored and will not want to help. It may be best to treat them as the smaller kids and leave them with another family member for the move. You may be able to station them in an area of the house or yard that is away from the moving activities, since they will not need constant adult supervision.

Kids 13 and older

If your children are teenagers, they should be able to act as an adult during the move. The only exceptions to this are:
  • If he or she is throwing a tantrum and is still resistant to moving, despite his or her advanced age.
  • If your child is still small at this age, he or she may not be able to carry much.
  • Teens will probably still need guidance and assistance for proper packing and loading techniques. A teenager may not be as mindful of the potential damage lazy packing and loading may cause your items.
Parents and children can help each other get through a move, but it is important that your kids are taken care of appropriately to keep everyone happy and safe. A family that moves together stays together.

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on September 30, 2014 - Moving Expert
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