Let's face it, moving can be hard. But for children, a big move is often accompanied by fear of the unknown and anxiety over new schools and leaving friends behind. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure a smoother transition for your children. Here are seven practical tips for making moving with kids easier for everyone:
1. Include Them in the Process
You have a list of things you want in a new apartment, and let's face it, so do your kids. Asking their opinions and preferences can help ward off feelings of powerlessness and help children look forward to the move. While you cannot reasonably accommodate every request, you may find that some, such as larger bedrooms or a nearby playground, are easy to fulfill and will make your life a bit easier as well. Add these requests to your list and search for an apartment that includes as many of the items on your list as possible.
2. Apartment Hunt Together
Children often feel less pessimistic about change if they have a role in the decision-making process. Take them along as you check out new apartments. This will let them see the options firsthand and give input. As you narrow your list to the best choices for your family, kids may even become excited, coming up with ideas for positioning furniture and decorating their new bedrooms.
3. Explore the Neighborhood
The unknown can be frightening for younger children, especially if you're moving to an entirely new neighborhood. Once you've settled on an apartment, spend an afternoon finding new haunts. Maybe you'll find a playground or park nearby, a movie theater within walking distance, or an ice cream shop or bakery to visit for occasional treats. Visiting such places lets your children know the new neighborhood has plenty of promise when it comes to finding fun new activities.
4. Accentuate the Positives
Make a list of the best features your new apartment has to offer and share them when your children start feeling down about the move. For example, your new apartment complex may have a swimming pool or a game room, or there may be many families with kids in the building. Perhaps the location is closer to your place of employment, so you can get home earlier from work. Or maybe the new apartment is closer to school, so your child will spend less time in the school bus each day. Whatever the benefits, trot them out as often as necessary to chase away the moving blues.
5. Pack Favorites Last
If your child's favorite toys, videos, or books are packed away and inaccessible, you can expect to have a crabby child on your hands in the days and weeks leading up to the move. Stress the importance of getting belongings organized and secured for relocation, but allow your child to keep at least a few favorites unpacked and ready to use until the last minute. Then, provide a box your child can use to store his things on moving day and allow him to decorate it so that it's easy to find at your new location. If possible, let him take the box along on the ride to the new apartment. Don't forget to double-check that everything gets packed up and into the car or moving truck on the big day. Few things cause more grief than forgotten playthings.
6. Get Childcare Help
No matter how well-planned a move is, moving day is stressful. Murphy's Law often steps in to ensure that the unexpected occurs. You, and your children, may find moving less stressful if you arrange for childcare or a play date during the hectic moving process.
7. Plan a Party
One of the hardest parts of moving with kids is leaving good friends behind. If possible, arrange a low-key get-together in your new apartment and invite a couple of your children's best friends to come and check out the new digs. If you've met new neighbors with children, invite some of them, too. This way, your children will see that moving won't necessarily mean losing friends but instead increases the opportunity to meet new people. Trust Apartment Guide
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