Are you getting ready for a big move? It can be one of life's most stressful events. For children this effect is amplified. It can be intimidating, confusing, and even scary.
Here are 10 things you can do to make moving fun for the family.
1. Movie night: Watching one of your family's favorite movies can make your new house feel familiar. Order pizza and have root beer floats! Forget about the day's stresses and enjoy each other's company, along with a meal that is easy to clean up.
2. Indoor camping: Turn a negative into a positive. When beds are still packed, camp out on your living room floor. This can be a great adventure for the kids. Plus, sleeping in the same space can be reassuring to young children.
3. New family favs: Most families have a favorite restaurant, park, or place to hang out. Search out your new favorites in your new neighborhood. You may not be able to have the exact same hamburger or shake, but maybe you'll find something that fits your family even better!
4. Positive attitude: Being upbeat about the move and changes will put your children at ease. "The new park has such fun equipment!" "The neighbors are so nice!" Your attitude has a big effect on your kids' state of mind.
5. Routines: Bedtime, mealtimes, playtimes, and favorite things are what keep the wheels on most days. Moving can temporarily disrupt these beneficial habits. Do your best to keep routines throughout a move. Pack favorite snacks, toys, and security objects in your overnight suitcase so that they're ready for use as soon as you arrive.
6. Pet Project: Most rooms need personalizing. Let your child have a hand in this! Their age will dictate the level of their participation. Younger children could help pick a favorite accent color or a few new accessories. Older children could pick design styles, new bedding, and even paint color. Their involvement will help them feel ownership of their new space.
7. Exploration: Your new neighborhood has so much to offer! The best way to experience it is on foot. Take a walk with the whole family. This also gets your kids acquainted with where they are and where your house is in case they are out by themselves and get lost.
8. Happy Travels: Long road trips mean it's time to pack lots of games, dvds, and snacks. Nothing is worse than a bored or hungry kid on a road trip! Bring blankets and pillows for nap time as well!
9. Open Communication: Your children should be given the opportunity to voice their fears and frustrations. Be sure to sit down with each child individually and talk about the move to get a feel for what it means to them.
10. Acceptance: Even the most planned of moves will be stressful. Moving is a disruption of our daily lives, and we humans are very routined beings. It will serve you well to simply accept that challenges will arise, but know that you will get through them. What a great life lesson to pass on to your kids.
Moving doesn't have to be scary time for kids. Use positive attitudes and a fun-loving spirit to turn this experience into the adventure that it is.