Packing and moving are in full swing around our house right now. We are moving out of our rental and onto to bigger and better things for our family of six. The last time that we moved, I was in my third trimester (you can read all about that here) of our twin pregnancy. Even not pregnant, moving is still one of my least favorite things to do. Preparing kids for a move can be an adventure, especially depending on their ages and what they can understand about moving.
Our children are on the fence about what is going on. My older ones total get it and ask a bunch of questions, while the twins just want to play in the boxes and they could care less about what is going on. I have figured out some ways to make the packing and moving process a little bit easier for young kids.
Preparing Kids for a Move
- When it comes to packing, let your kids help. I made the mistake of trying to leave them out of this part in the beginning of this process, and it did not go over well. They really wanted to help tape of the boxes and help by putting
themselvesthings in to them. It actually made it much more fun this way for everyone involved. My oldest, who is five, really loves to be the helper, and being able to put her own things in her boxes and then write her name on the outside made it a much smoother process.
- Explain why you have to pack their things. It was especially hard for my older two (5 and 3) watching Mommy pack away all of their “most special things”. She was very upset that I was putting all of these things in sealed boxes and didn’t really understand why I had to do it right that second. After a few boxes and explaining each time to her why I had to put them away, and that “they weren’t going away forever, just keeping them safe until they get to her new room”, she felt a little better about the whole process. I also left out some of her most prized possessions, which helped to ease the sting for her and made her feel like I wasn’t just taking all of her things away forever:)
- Take them with you to the new place if possible. In between the visits, walk-through, and all of the paper signings, our girls have had ample visits to our new house when their was nothing in it. I think this allows them to get a feel for where they will soon be living and prevents having them move all of their things to some place they have never seen before. We let our girls run around the yard, showed them “their rooms”, and kept calling it “their new house”. All of this seemed to get them pretty excited about this fun new place that was going to be “home”.
- Let them do things to remember their old house. Our twins have only ever known the home that we live in now, and our older two were only 3 and 2 when we moved here so this has been home for a lot of her life as well. Doing things like drawing pictures with them of their old house and old room will help them to part with it a little bit easier. It will also make leaving it a happier experience because they will have memories to take with them to the new place.
Moving can be emotional for kids, especially if they are right on the edge of truly being able to understand what is going on. Try to be patient with them while they fight you over which toys can be packed, or get upset because you are taping up a box with the “one bear they haven’t seen in two years but love anyway!”
How do your kids handle moving? What are some other things you would add to help kids get prepared for a move?
*Cheers to taking the time to make life’s big changes easier on our kids*