How To Keep Your Kids Interested During A Move
Moves are never easy. You have to find a house, pack up the old one, unpack at the new place, potentially find a new job for yourself or a partner, restock the fridge, learn the area, figure out what school the kids are going to; the list goes on and that’s just for adults. There’s no doubt that moving is a stressful experience, but at least you understand why you have to do it. Most kids, particularly at a younger age, will likely struggle with being interested in packing up everything they ever knew and then moving somewhere else.
By making your residential move a family event, you can help your child adjust to being in a new place without being upset about leaving the old one. Choice Moving Company, LLC wants to help you get your family into your new home with the best residential movers in Fort Collins, but we also know that moving your belongings is only one part of the experience. Here are some tips on how to keep your kids invested in the whole process.
Help Them Connect With Friends
One of the hardest parts of a move is leaving friends behind. Even if the move isn’t leaving town or only a few miles away, it’ll be difficult losing easy access to friends so important to them for kids who can’t drive to see their friends. Make sure you help your kids stay in contact so they’re not worried about having to start over at their new school if they’re moving to a new district.
There are a lot of easy ways of doing this. For starters, whether it’s a local or long distance move, look up your new house and your child’s friend’s house on a map. Show them how far away it really is. Explain to them how far away they will be from their friends and how long it would take to visit. For local moves, you can compare this to a trip your child has already been on. For long distance ones, you can explain the flights you’d have to take, or if you have family back from where you moved, you can explain you’ll be able to visit when you go visit family.
But being far away doesn’t mean out of contact. Long distance can be a great time to teach your child about how to write and mail a letter, or for the more digitally inclined, an email. If your child doesn’t have a phone, you can set up an account with your child’s friend’s parents on a digital chatroom, like Hangouts or Skype, so they can call each other and stay in contact. This can be particularly useful for any long distance friends who would require longer waits to visit. If your child already has a phone of their own, make sure you help them get any phone numbers they need before they move. This is a great chance to teach them responsibility by reminding them to do this on their own, but for younger kids, you should make sure you have the numbers saved as well in case they forget or there isn’t a chance while you’re moving to say goodbye.
Let Them Redesign Their Room
For a child who has grown up since they moved into their last room, moving is a great time to reorganize or even redesign a room. Whether it’s something as simple as changing out the bedding to something as involved as painting, a new house gives your child an opportunity to reinvent themselves through their new space. Teenagers may want to redecorate their room from their tween interests. Children who now have separate rooms from their siblings will want to identify their style.
Give your child a set budget or wish list of things you know you can do without making the move more difficult. Give them a list of ten or so options and let them pick which options they want and how they want to make those options a reality in their space. This is a good way to teach them about budgeting in a very controlled way, while also giving them some autonomy to control their space. It’s also a great time to donate anything your child doesn’t want to keep to a local charity, which is also another great lesson.
Build A To-Do List Together
There are a lot of things to be done when you move. We already listened off a number of them at the top of this article. Having a checklist for yourself will already make your move easier, but involving your child in the process will help them understand what they can do. With a visual tasklist and the understanding that they’re going to have to help every day, a checklist they worked on making can help them stay motivated longer with working on their tasks.
Setting daily goals for projects they aren’t as interested in, like their rooms, will give them a goal to work towards every day. If they can see the target they need to reach, then they’ll work hard to get that project done to be finished for the day. Make sure you don’t overload your child with tasks. While moving is a lot of work, trying to get all of it done in a day is only going to make everyone frustrated. Kids don’t understand having to meet deadlines for movers, or at least not to the extent that you do. Make sure you set goals well in advance so everyone doesn’t get stressed when the movers show up.
Make sure that once your child has done all of the tasks on the checklist you scheduled, your child is done with their obligated tasks for packing or unpacking that day. If they keep going, make sure you tell them how much you appreciate their extra help or reward them with something they like. It’s easy to push your kids to keep working until everything is done, but they’re still a kid and probably really nervous about a move. When you show yourself being stressed out, it only heightens that fear for them that this move may not be that great. Be patient and encourage them to work, but planning in advance can take away a lot of the fear that comes with moving somewhere new.
Find A Family Outing
Once everything is at your new home, it’s easy to lose yourself in unpacking. True, you should get the essentials unpacked pretty quickly, like beds, appliances, and food. But after that, the daily goals we suggested above can keep you from feeling overwhelmed in the massive task of unmoving. Be sure to reward your family for working together as a unit to make your move happen.
- Find a local mini golf green or a movie theater.
- Try out an interesting local restaurant nearby.
- Go window-shopping with your child, and if they’re redecorating their room, this could be a good time for them to pick what they want, even if you don’t pick it up that day or at that store.
- Do something fun and new to reward everyone for working hard that day.
- It’s important to take this time to appreciate the hard work everyone is doing and not to focus on what still needs to be done.
This also serves two other great purposes. It helps everyone learn the new area they live in and what’s local. This can be great to learning major landmarks or street names so your child doesn’t get lost if they are ever out without you. It can also be a great chance for your child to make new friends if you go somewhere like a neighborhood park or to a community center hosting an event.
At Choice Moving Company, LLC, we know that moving is a stressful process, but we know that by using some of these tips you can make your move a lot less stressful. Worry less about your move, and let Fort Collins’ top residential movers handle getting your belongings from one home to the next. Contact us today to answer any questions or schedule your moving date.