An upcoming move can be a stressful time for both adults and children. To make the process as seamless as possible, it is important to keep an open and honest dialogue with your children so they can navigate the process without any extra anxiety.
Here are a few of our recommendations for making an interstate move easier for children:
1.) Be honest with children about the move and what will happen
Children are far wiser than we give them credit for, and will often pick up on queues we may not realize. This is especially relevant if you and your partner are discussing the move together, or if you are discussing the move with your friends.
It’s a smart idea to sit down with your children and let them know what will be happening and why you will be moving to a new house. Once you open up this dialogue, your children can ask any questions they might have about what will happen during the move, and how it might affect them. The answers you provide them will eliminate any uncertainties or anxieties they have and can increase their confidence about the move.
You will want to time your discussion with your children accordingly, based on their age and when you plan to start packing. Older children should be told further in advance, since they have a stronger sense of time in comparison to younger children, who might get anxious if told too early.
2.) Take a family visit to your new city
Before your moving day, take a family trip to your new city if possible. The process will allow your children to visualize themselves in your new neighborhood and can make the move more tangible, rather than an abstract concept. You can point out landmarks such as nearby parks, their new school and library, and any other places you think they might enjoy.
For an added bonus, stay at a hotel close to the neighborhood you’ll be moving to. You can walk around in the evening to figure out what your closest grocery store will be and try out some of the local take-out options.
3.) Consider hiring childcare for moving day
No matter how much preparation you’ve done prior to moving day, it will likely still be an emotional process for the whole family. To minimize any outbursts, children can stay with a trusted friend or family member on moving day. Take the time to explain to your children that they will be in a safe place, that you will be at the new house waiting for them, and that all of their belongings will be safely delivered to their new place.
An interstate move might mean it is not possible for your children to stay with someone else on moving day, and if this is the case, keep them occupied with a book or toy during the moving process. Otherwise, they may have a false sense of safety when seeing furniture from the home wrapped in moving pads, and could pull or climb on fragile items.
Once you have your moving dates in mind, give a trusted independent long-distance moving company such as Gentle Giant a call, or fill out our web form, to get an estimate and reserve your dates. The sooner you are able to do this, the sooner you can relay the plans to your children so the whole family has a timeline to follow.