Navigating Long-Distance Moves with Kids can be a challenge for families. But, with a little planning and effort, this process can be less stressful for everyone involved.
One of the most important steps in preparing children for a move is being open and honest with them. This means providing them with all the information they need and answering any questions they may have comprehensively. For more helpful tips, contact RI Movers.
1. Plan Ahead
Moving is a big undertaking at the best of times, but long distance moves with kids present additional challenges. From preparing your children mentally for the move, to physically getting their rooms ready, to finding new schools and childcare options, there are many things you can do to prepare for your long-distance move with kids.
Talking with your children openly is one of the most important things you can do to help them cope with a family move. It’s important that they understand why the move is happening and that they have a chance to ask questions and express concerns. It can also be helpful to take your children on a visit of their new city and home, if possible, before the actual move. This can give them a sense of familiarity and comfort in their new hometown, especially if they have to leave old friends behind.
If your children are school-aged, it’s a good idea to plan your trip so that you arrive in your new town a day or two before the start of their school year. This will give them time to explore their neighborhood and get acclimated to their new environment before they have to dive right into their studies. It will also help them feel more comfortable making new friends and adjusting to their new life.
If you’re flying, you can even go sightseeing in your new town and show your children the sights they will see when they start school, which can be a great way to familiarize them with their new environment. No matter how you’re traveling, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure your children have plenty of entertainment and activities on hand for the journey, so they don’t become bored.
2. Engage Your Child
Children often become stressed when they experience a change in their routine. This is especially true during a move that takes them out of their comfort zone. Keep their daily routine as stable as possible to help them regulate their emotions. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, meal times, and outdoor playtimes. This will give your kids a sense of familiarity during a very stressful time and allow them to feel in control.
Talking to your child about the move and addressing their concerns is essential for helping them deal with the change. Make sure to provide them with as much information as possible and answer any questions thoroughly. Also, consider giving them a tour of the new home before the move and introduce them to their neighbors.
Saying goodbye to family and friends is also a major challenge for many children during a long-distance move. Encourage them to keep in touch with those who are left behind through video calls and messages.
Another great way to keep your kids engaged during the move is to plan fun activities for them to enjoy on the road. Depending on the distance of your relocation, it might be a good idea to stop at national landmarks or quirky roadside attractions like Wall Drug or The Corn Palace to make the trip more interesting for them.
Keeping your kids active and entertained during the move will make it easier for them to let go of their fears about moving and look forward to the future. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to bond with them and make the process of moving a little bit more enjoyable for everyone involved.
3. Talk About It
While adults are consumed with a whirlwind of documents, meetings with realtors, and packing, kids are just trying to live their lives. It can be hard for them to keep up with the changes happening around them, especially if they are moving long distance and leaving their friends behind.
It is important to talk to your kids about the move at an age-appropriate level. This will help them prepare for the transition and feel like they have a say in what is happening. Provide them with as much information about the new location as possible, and answer any questions they may have comprehensively and truthfully.
It is also a good idea to discuss ways that they will be able to stay connected to their old home and friends, such as taking lots of pictures, Skyping with family members, and using social media and email. This will help them manage homesickness in a healthy way. It is normal for children to be sad and miss their old life, but if you listen to them and validate their feelings, they will be able to adjust to their new home more easily.
4. Make the Journey Easier
Moving is challenging enough, but adding kids to the mix can be stressful and overwhelming. However, with a little planning, you can make the process as easy as possible for everyone.
To help your children adjust to the move, be sure to keep them engaged on the drive. This will take a lot of the pressure off and help them to accept what is happening. Try to leave as early in the day as you can — it will get you farther along in the journey and closer to your destination by the time late morning arrives.
During the drive, it is also important to plan for frequent breaks. This will help break up the monotony of the long ride and give your children a chance to stretch their legs. You can even turn the trip into a family-bonding adventure by finding interesting stops on the way, like national landmarks or quirky roadside attractions.
It is also a good idea to bring along plenty of snacks and drinks for the drive. This will help keep everyone happy and hydrated, which will in turn reduce stress levels and prevent meltdowns. Additionally, be sure to bring along some of your child’s favorite toys and activities. This will help them to focus on the positive aspects of their new home and will distract them from thinking about what is happening in their old one.
Finally, it is a good idea to connect your children with friends in their new community. This will help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings and will provide them with a support system in case they need to talk about anything.
5. Stay Connected
Children often fear the idea of moving away from their friends. Helping them find ways to stay in touch will ease this anxiety. Encourage them to talk to their old friends on the phone, and consider setting up group Skype calls a few times a week. If you’re comfortable with it, you can also sign up for a digital calendar that will allow you to share your respective schedules so each parent can know when the other is free to speak.
Another way to connect is by playing online games together. There are many apps available, so choose ones that your family members will enjoy. These can include Pictionary, Heads Up, Jackbox, and more. Some of these can be competitive or non-competitive, so be sure to decide ahead of time how you’ll play.
If you’re able to do it, a road trip can be a great bonding experience and give your kids an opportunity to see the country. Take photos and videos, and consider adding a stop at a national landmark or quirky roadside attraction like the Corn Palace or Wall Drug.
You can also show your kids the new city before they move by using Google Earth or other tools. This will help them visualize the area and get excited about their future life there. In addition, signing your kids up for sports or other extracurricular activities will help them meet people in their new community and make it easier to feel part of their new life. Finally, make it a point to celebrate holidays, even if you’re not celebrating them with your extended family. These traditions will help your kids feel connected to you regardless of the distance.