We’ve all heard that a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. So what happens when you decide on moving with kids and throwing steady family life into turmoil? You’re not bound to have a wanderlust gene to understand that life is full of opportunities, but grabbing hold of them can be difficult. Why push yourself out, then, and make all that effort? Is that the only way to reach new heights and to grow?
There is a lot to be gained from sheer curiosity, even more if you know exactly how intimidating the change you’re going to make could be. Yet, you decide to do it with your whole family, taking a leap and relocating to another state. This might explain why 63% of Americans have moved at least once in their lifetime, compared to 37% who have never dared to leave their hometowns. No doubt it is a big transition for everybody, especially the youngsters.
Moving With Children Takes Courage
When a time to move comes without a clear roadmap, you meet face to face with relocation stress, fear, and doubt. No matter if you’re relocating to a small town, the world’s largest metropolis, or you doing it all because of an office move – do not be discouraged. These are not the enemies on your way, but two best short-term friends who are there only to teach you how to move safely and bravely. Without them, there’s no possibility of dealing with moving challenges resourcefully, let alone teaching the little ones how to do it along the way. You are their role model, and how you cope with the situation will profoundly impact their relocation experience. Teaching them that coping with the relocation process requires a lot more than changing your address is a good way to go.
How Does Moving a House Affect a Child?
Critical components for healthy child development are stability and security, and these further include housing, parenting, family dynamics, neighborhood factors, peer influences, and school development. That said, comprehending that deciding where to live all over again disrupts almost every life field mentioned above is not rocket science. It is about vigorous parents’ attempts and everybody’s support for the higher good: making the extreme emotional roller coaster have minimal adverse effects. When everything’s new – people, school, lifestyle, and community – how can you help them prepare for and eventually accept so many challenges at once in a positive manner?
It’s a Matter of Weeks or Even Less
There are a few things to do before relocating, but the most important one is to discuss it with your child. No matter the time you have, let this be your no.1 on your to-do list. Just as grown-ups, a kid also needs as much information about their new lives as soon as possible. They will not be taken by surprise if you fill them with details describing what their school is going to be like, is there a playground near your new house or is there the exact relocation date yet. Keep in mind that, no matter their age, the change itself might trouble them most, so try to motivate them to communicate these fears with you whenever possible. Such a daunting task as this one asks for heartwarming and straightforward solutions. When you’re sure you have them, you can start with your packing list.
The Purge Day is a Bit Different When Moving With Kids
Relocating your house implies undergoing so many steps: organizing and packing your things, hiring cross-country movers and scheduling various cross-country moving services, juggling your old and your new life, and many more responsibilities which wouldn’t be attainable without a move out cleaning first. This is the phase where you can turn your children into your little collaborators, depending on their age, because even the tiniest task will make them feel useful and closer to the idea of a new home.
It is no secret that kids are little junk hoarders. They get attached to their buckets full of broken toys, crayons, old papers, and so on. If you wonder how to move with kids while them being less noisy or cranky, be sneaky and get rid of the junk most carefully, while they’re asleep, during school hours, or when playing. That’s a proper solution not to bring a dozen unnecessary boxes. Or grumpy youngsters. Still, resist the urge to clean away everything, like their most beloved and familiar objects. Leave those visible until the big day comes.
So Many Details to Sort Out When Moving Out of State With Children
Sure, you can always move in a hurry, but no matter the age, nobody loves to be separated abruptly from things they love and need most. Whether we’re talking about a diary or a teddy bear, make sure this is well-explained to your kids. Let them think and pick their favorite stuff upfront and have them close to them while the process of unpacking lasts.
You can also surprise them with some of their favorite snacks and drinks, but more important are the items which will keep them happy down the road. Remember, although you might be overburdened with many responsibilities, packing quickly sometimes means running things slower. Packing fragile items and, for example, boxing up silverware while having so much on your plate is too much of a hassle.
Involve the Whole Family in Change Process
Our recommendation is to find alternatives to help your children be excited about the move by letting them help you with the transition. Involving them when their lives seem unpredictable and messy could give them a feeling of control and a sense that the real change wasn’t forced on them. There are countless nifty relocation hacks that could add some fun to a serious event like this one, and your kids would surely be up for many of them, starting with how to pack toys. Additionally, let them fill, label, and decorate their boxes. All in all, stuff that your child is fond of should be reserved for you and them, even if you pay for professional packing services.
Helping Youngsters Understand Their Feelings Positively
It is not unusual for a kid to struggle with handling their emotions. Significant changes, such as long-distance moving, are among the well-known factors why a child gets caught up in feelings of sadness, fear, or frustration, but they communicate these in many different ways. Thanks to their behavior and play, the more a parent can identify what’s happening to their loved ones, the more they can help them understand how to manage their emotions constructively.
Stick to Your Years-Long Routines
Novel experiences are much more comfortable when keeping things familiar. Even though in another state, if you used to have a family cartoon day or Sunday morning pajama boarding games, keep up with the tradition. When there’s something to call your own, it makes a world of difference while your children adapt to a newly formed life. Also, having things such as their favorite books, the toys they love best, and familiar old bedsheets in their room will let them feel safe again.
Hosting a Goodbye Party for Your Little Ones Will Help Them Have Fun During The Process
If you’d love some more tips for moving with kids, use this one and throw the biggest and probably most chaotic goodbye party with all of your kids’ dearest friends, as well as yours. It will help everybody have closure lightly and appreciate the time spent together. Prepare “memento boxes” and encourage everyone to take a small souvenir from each one of you and help you pack quicker.
What Is the Best Age to Move a Child?
Moving with kids out of state is rough for any age group, and there is no ideal one when it comes to it. Still, it might be less of a challenge to move with a baby or a toddler since the magnitude of the move is not something they can grasp with their baby minds. Still, in this age range, children do indeed pick up their parents’ emotional cues. Hence, taking care of your needs while transitioning is what will make them happy, too.
Tips for Cross-Country Moving With School-Age Kids
No move is without hardship, especially when there’s a thought of a new school trapped in your head, like with elementary-age kids. This is the main reason why children at this age will need all of your support. They will surely ask many questions about their future school and how to make friends in a new state, so try to give them honest answers which will gradually build their confidence. They are old enough to reason with, which offers parents a space to navigate the move slightly more relaxed.
Check out the video below if you would like to understand all the challenges of relocation and how does it feel to transition to “the new kid.”
Relocating Is a Lot More Stressful With Teens
When there comes a time in your life when so many physical and emotional changes are already taking place, additional changes and more uncertainties are not something any teen is hoping for. It is their time of discovery and identity, and going away from it means losing it. And the idea of losing it must be frightening. To survive this phase only makes each parent grateful and happy. This is also why they’ll need some extra patience with their teen kid while letting them be pretty emotional about it. Regardless of the reasons to move, do not expect them to look forward to it.
Relocating With Your Kids After Divorce
There are many reasons why there’s a wish for such a big transition after a divorce, but the most common are:
- Relocation for a job after separation – one partner is offered an excellent job opportunity,
- Relocation for a family – feeling isolated or unhappy by themselves,
- Relocation for a better life – improving the quality of life by going somewhere else,
- Relocation with a partner – forming a new relationship with somebody.
It is also quite common that we hear a question similar to this one: “How far can a mother move with my child?” When parents divorce or separate, custody arrangements are made to meet the children’s best interest. Even though some states have more relaxed laws on relocation, most of them require a custodial parent to notify a non-custodial parent about the move since both of them must sign a written agreement and consent regarding issues affecting the kid’s health or welfare. When relocating further than 20 miles from your current residence, the best solution is to renegotiate the arrangement.
Keep Your Cool
Do not forget this is an adventure for the whole family. How do you help kids adjust to moving, if not by reminding them to stay adventurous and open to experiences yet to come? Tell them not to be afraid of failure or to look foolish, to explore the unknown environment, and take a bit of risk with their tiniest steps, if they wish so.
Be brave, and keep your cool; it will make less of a bumpy ride for everybody. We all know that our mindset for travel is the one we have for life; teach your little ones to enjoy it.