Adjusting to a new home can be unsettling for kids who are used to routine and a familiar environment. Whatever your kids' ages and the reasons for your move, keeping a positive attitude is the best way to help everyone through this big transition.
Setting the Stage
Most kids adjust better if they know what to expect. If you have toddlers, act out the big move with toy trucks, play figures, and play sets. Having Elsa and Buzz Lightyear "load" your things onto Mack the Truck and drive them to your Barbie Dream House can be an entertaining and helpful way to prepare little ones for the big move.
If you're within driving distance of your new home, swing by the house with your kids. Make it an adventure with a picnic lunch and a visit to the neighborhood park so the kids can start familiarizing themselves with the area. Attend an event at your kids' new school before the move so you can meet some of the teachers and neighborhood families in a relaxed, social setting.
Packing it Up
Packing can be a drag, but you can reassure your kids by involving them. Be sure to let little ones know their things are not going away, they're just being moved to their new home. Pull a favorite blankie out of storage and let your child pack it himself or even bring it along for the ride so he feels in control. Make it a game, and reward kids for silly categories like best color-coding or fastest packing. And if some toys are headed for the storage unit, take your kids by the space and show them where their things are located.
For children who flourish with routine, it may be best to set up their new bedrooms to mimic their old rooms. Have fun taking pictures of the old bedroom before the move so you can copy it in the new house, or make your kids the unpacking authority and have them direct you where to put items.
Whether you're acting out the move or making up packing games, a playful attitude and an attention to your kids' concerns can make your family's move a happy one.