If you are planning a move with kids, there are things you can do to make the whole experience a positive one for them—and easier for yourself.
Generally, the younger the child, the easier they move. Pre-schoolers, for example, feel attachments outside the home less strongly than school age children do. Toward the other end of the age spectrum, teenagers can find it very difficult to move because of friendships and affiliations with teams and clubs. A teenager who feels in love may experience anxiety more acutely than anyone.
Here are a few pointers for moving with kids
- Babies and Toddlers. These little ones are the easiest going. Your main challenge will be to keep them occupied and out from under foot during the process of packing and loading. On moving day, arrange to have a relative or neighbor watch them. Consider dedicating one room for a moving day party with movies, games, and napping—away from the movers and packers while they work.
- Preschoolers (ages 2 to 5). A good move begins with the right psychology. When you talk about the move, focus on the positives. Talk about the cool new house and all the neat things it offers. A big bonus room for playing. Your own bedroom. A big back yard for outdoor exploring. Hit the selling points and build excitement for the moving adventure—little ones will fall in line like ducks eager for a swim.
- Grade schoolers (ages 6 to 12). Kids in elementary school need reassurance that their next hometown will provide as much fun and opportunity as the one they are leaving. Bring them into discussions of the new home and town. Even show them photos and maps of their new surroundings. Again, psychology is important, so stay positive. Plan the move to take place when school is not in session, so their academic progress is less likely to suffer.
- Middle and High Schoolers (ages 13 to 18). If your teenager has grown up with friends, the attachments can be pretty strong. They need reassurances that their friendships can survive the distance that comes with moving. Consider having them invite their closest buddies over for a final get-together with pizza and movies. Social media will help them stay in touch wherever they go, but talk about the possibility of visits back and forth—maybe even spending a couple of weeks together during the summer or over Christmas.
It’s only natural to fear change. But kids are remarkably flexible and open to suggestion. Keep them focused on the positives. Create the expectations of adventure and new discovery. Listen to their concerns and answer with empathy. And if you have special concerns about moving for any member of your family, let our baltimore relocation experts know. We’re here to help in any way we can.