Home Sweet Home: Tips for Making Moving Easier with Kids
Where Is Home?
We moved again last summer shortly after my five-year-old son finished preschool.
“I don’t want to move, why do we have to leave? I like our home,” he pleaded. He teared up again at the mention of moving. We were packing up and he could see his walls and drawers growing bare and empty. It hurt me to have to explain this to him and to pack up a room he fell in love with.
I was not any happier about the move but it was the best thing to do since my husband wanted to save time and gas commuting to and from work and because we would be saving more money paying less rent at the new place we found.
On moving day, my one and a half-year-old daughter was apparently tired from the long day’s activities. We were already at our new place that was now filled with boxes and bags of clutter in every room. We were all exhausted, worn out and overwhelmed with the stress of moving. I was sitting on the recliner, catching my breath and cooling off when she grabbed her shoes and held them up to me.
She looked up at me with her big brown eyes and I saw how heavy her eye lids were with the desire to sleep. In her tiny voice, she said, “home.” It broke my heart and I knew she didn’t understand all that was happening. I explained to her that this place was our new home and tried to make her bed as comfortable as possible in her new, messy room.
Home Sweet Home
Prepare Your Kids About the Move
Moving is always stressful and it can be overwhelming physically, mentally and emotionally.
For my children since they were still very young and it was a little harder for them to fully comprehend the idea of moving, they seemed to be more concerned about the fact that they would be leaving their current home and could not grasp the idea of not coming back there. This was mostly my son who seemed to have this concern since he loved his room and neighborhood.
Here are some ways to make the move for young children easier:
- Discuss the move as far in advance with your children and as a family together.
- Explain to them in simple terms what moving means.
- Kids ask plenty of questions. Answer them as best as you can in terms they will understand. You do not have to explain every detail but do let them know you are attentive to their feelings and answer them instead of ignoring them or discouraging them from asking questions.
- Prepare them mentally and physically. The more they realize this is real, the better it will be for everyone when it comes down to moving day. My kids were still a little upset about moving when the big day came but at least they were not confused about what was happening.
- Look for children's books that talk about moving or movies with happy endings about moving into a new home.
- Discuss the process of moving with the kids. Let them know that the house will have to be packed up and cleaned. They can help to pack up and help clean out their personal items, toys, clothes in their room or elsewhere.
- Designate bins or boxes for things they will be keeping and for those they no longer need. If you plan ahead in enough time, consider taking your kids with you to donate items at a local thrift store like Goodwill. You can also resell items to consignment stores or hold a yard sale. Let the kids keep the money they make off of their belongings. This can be used as motivation to move - they can go for a treat somewhere near the new house with their money.
Read This Book About Moving with Your Child
Moving from Place to Place
Have you lived in the same city where you were born?
Be Positive and Focus on the Good Things About Moving
- Be positive! Young children usually reciprocate your feelings and attitude about everything so if you speak and act positive when the topic of moving comes up, it is more likely they will begin to feel more at ease, too.
- Focus on all the good things that your kids can look forward to when you move.
- Do research on the area, neighborhood and surroundings. Tell your kids about it and maybe show pictures of places around the new home either on-line or in a book to get them excited.
- Research family and kid-friendly activities near by the new place and make plans to visit there within those first few weeks that you move.
- Visit the new place with the kids and show them around the house, neighborhood and the local area if this is possible.
- If not, look up tours and photos on-line.
- Let your kids be involved; if they see things around the new place they want to do or check out, show them you are paying attention and write it down.
- Make a list with them of the things you all would like to do and see when you move in that area.
- If they will be starting a new school in that area, take a tour of the school and let your kids see the school before they start and even before the move, if possible.
Give this scrapbook to your child to remember old home but embrace new memories
Discover and Embrace New Places When You Move
Visit My Blog for More Family Adventures
Ways to Make Moving Easier for Young Kids
Create a memory book or scrapbook of old home and add in photos of new memories of new home.
Decorate and set up furniture in a comfortable way to make it cozy for kids. Maybe set up kids' rooms the same way it was in old home.
Encourage kids to be open-minded about new place and local atmosphere.
Create a journal for the kids to draw or write in. They can their share thoughts and feelings about old and new home.
Or get kids excited about having new room that they can decorate differently than old room.
Explore with your kids all the fun places and things to do.
Make videos of old home and then some of new home.
Discover new places to fall in love with, new routines and favorite spots to hang out with your kids.
Be a part of the community. Join play groups, clubs and activities that your kids will enjoy in the new area.
Welcome New Adventures
Have New Adventures and Build New Memories
Let the kids know that it is okay to miss the old home and old room but it is also exciting to have a new adventure and build new memories. It can also be fun decorating a new home! Let the kids take part in doing this, too.
Saying Good-bye When Moving - Ways To Bring Home with You
A tough part about moving can be saying good-bye to friends, neighbors and other people you became close to that lived near that area.My kids did not have this big problem about saying good-bye to friends since they were still so young. My son had friends in his pre-school but school was already over before we moved and he was moving onto Kindergarten anyways, which required him to attend a new school. We brought him to the new school to visit before the school year began. He met his teacher and some of his new classmates. He seemed much more excited and less weary about starting Kindergarten after that.
Saying good-bye to the actual home can be difficult, too, which is what my kids seemed to be having a hard time doing.
Here are some ideas to help your child cope with leaving their old home:
- Let them take something tangible from the place like some soil and place it in a pot to plant in their new home. They can also take some rocks, twigs form the yard and keep it in a jar or make a craft with it to represent their old home.
- Take a family photo of all of you in front of the house. Also, take pictures of kids playing outside and some pictures of you all inside, as well.
- Hang up the photos in your new home where they can see it.
- Take a picture of the new house with the kids and place that photo side by side with the old house. Explain to kids that home is where your family is, no matter the physical location of the house.
- Remember to write the year on the photos or on the frames.
Grab This Decor for Your New Home
Love Makes a Home
Tips for Moving with Kids on Moving Day
Home Is Where the Heart Is
It has been a long time since my daughter, who is now two, asked to go to her old home. Our new place is settled in and her room is much more organized than it was on that chaotic moving day. She still makes a big mess in that same living room where she first asked to go home, but the boxes are gone and the random furniture are put away where they belong.
My home, my comfort and safe harbor lies within my husband’s heart and with my children. As long as we are together through all our changes and transitions, I will be at home.
I hope our kids will feel the same way, that home truly is where the heart lies and that both my children will learn that the love of family is what makes a home.
After a long day of events every now and then, I can tell my daughter is happy to get home and wind down. Recently, while sitting on that same recliner from when we first moved in, I asked my daughter if she was now home. She looked up at me with a smile and a content look in her eyes. She answered, “Yes.”
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