Moving to another location becomes even more complicated when you have kids. When it was just you, it was easy. You just packed up your belongings and shipped out. Sure, it might be hard knowing you’d never be back, but you could cope. But when kids are involved, they are likely to have some adjustment issues. Kids are more attached to “things” than adults, such as certain aspects of their room they liked, play areas they may be leaving behind, as well as friends and familiarity.
To help kids cope and make things easier, follow these 5 practical tips when making your big move:
- Talk to them about the move long before it occurs. Kids take some time to adjust to a new idea. Just grabbing them up and moving without warning will shake a kid’s sense of stability. So telling them far ahead of the moving day is one of the best things you can do. When you do talk to them about it, make it exciting, like a journey, rather than something to fear or dread. Kids are insecure and for many, moving to another place can be unsettling. You can calm some of their fears by making it fun and assuring them that everything will be okay.
- Give them a list of fun things to do at their new location. By creating more excitement due to the fun things they will get to do in their new town or location, you will diffuse many of the negative thoughts they might have about the move.
- Take books along that are about traveling. One particular book that is very helpful in this situation is Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Used in counselling settings around the world for people who are in a variety of transitional situations in their lives, this book can help kids cope with a move or any time they feel unsure of their future. It turns the experience into a fun adventure, rather than a scary ordeal. Another book that is great for kids in Australia is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. In this book, Alex has a long string of events that he is upset about and thinks the world is against him. Over time though, he discovers that some of his ordeal is due to his previous actions, and not to external events that he cannot control. He also finds that no one event is ever as bad as he really feared. He also repeatedly says throughout the book, “I think I’ll move to Australia”. This book might help kids who like a funny repetitive prose with a good lesson, that they’ll get through the moving experience and everything will turn out okay in the end, even in Australia!
- Let kids ask questions about the move. The best way to find out what is on someone’s mind is to ask them. And let kids ask questions too regarding the pending move. They may wonder what the new city will be like, what will the schools be like, and what will the kids be like. Every culture, town and neighbourhood is different. Having an open Q/A session lets kids feel free to ask what might be troubling them and helps them feel they are more in control of the situation.
- Play games on the way. Find apps on the iOS or Android market that deal with moving or play old-fashioned games while driving such as “I Spy” and others to help them deal with long drives and anxieties about the trip.
There are other things you can do to make things better when moving with kids in Australia. Keep it positive, take the approach that it’s a big opportunity for adventure, enhance it with children’s literature that addresses these issues, and let kids ask questions and have fun. Time to get packing! Let the kids help with this too! Tell them it’s all a part of the big adventure. Oh, the places they’ll go!
By Sheree Jones, who works for the Budget Self Pack Containers team who are Australia’s expert interstate removalists for container removals. The BSPC team is full of parents and they are all happy to help give advice on moving with children or anything to do with your impending move. Connect with BSPC on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or YouTube today.