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4 Tips for Long-Distance Moving With Kids

Moving can be exciting, especially if you’re changing places for a new job or opportunities. On the other hand, it can also be tough. You may have friends and family in the area or appreciate some local amenities you won’t be able to access anymore. 

These negative feelings can amplify tenfold for children. After all, when we’re younger, we rarely understand all the details prompting a long-distance move. As professional movers in Montreal, Discount Moving has these four tips for moving with kids to help you and them see eye-to-eye during the process.

#1. Remember Their Point of View

You may find it challenging to consider the feelings you had as a child since you have adult responsibilities. Even so, your children’s feelings on the matter also affect how well the moving process goes.

If you aren’t feeling very sympathetic toward them, remember this:

  • Children tend to value stability, and moving can be a very destabilizing process.
  • If you have never moved before, everything your child knows stems from your current house, and changing that can be frightening.
  • The kids likely have friends or family they are used to having nearby, and they recognize moving means that won’t be the case anymore.
  • Your children may have significant memories associated with your current living space and don’t want to leave the area where those good memories occurred.
  • Children often don’t comprehend the various issues that can require a move, nor do they understand the benefits they may receive from moving if you don’t speak with them.

Although the decision to move comes down to you as an adult, your children’s lives are also changing significantly. Keep your kids’ feelings in mind and look for ways to work with them on their emotional responses and regulation. Even if you feel impatient about their complaints, listen to their concerns and communicate with them to help relieve their fears.

#2. Bring Them into the Loop

Children often fear the unknown, and moving a long distance is a huge unknown for them. One of the best ways to help reduce their fears and increase their eagerness includes helping them understand where everyone is going and why:

Explain the Reason for Moving

Depending on their age, they may not understand why moving benefits the family. Even so, explain to them why the household needs to move as best as you can. 

For example, if you need to move for a job, you can talk about how you’re going to work in a new place and what that will bring. If moving closer to family, you can explain that you want to see other family members more frequently. Telling them why the move is happening often reduces their stress levels, even if they don’t fully understand the reason.

Show Off the New Home

To erase some of the fear of the unknown, show your children photos or videos of the new house and nearby locations. This way, they learn where they’re going and can become more comfortable with the incoming changes.

You could try showing them the room you have planned for them and discuss designing their space together. Older kids may want to dress up their rooms alone, and they can start planning if you show them the new place. They would likely feel more involved and in control of what’s happening around them.

Listen When They Need You

Sometimes, children feel more reassured if they have someone with whom they can express their feelings. That person will often be you, even if you feel preoccupied with the moving process. Moving with kids means helping them through some of their emotions, even if you don’t always have an answer to their questions.

If they feel you’re hearing them out, your kids may be more likely to accept that their lives are changing. Even adults fear change but can welcome some changes if they know what’s going on or feel someone is listening to them.

#3. Keep Them Involved or Occupied

Allowing your children some sense of control in the situation, even in smaller duties, can help improve their mood and acclimation. While preparing your children for the move, you can keep them occupied with age-appropriate moving activities.

Allow Them to Pack Their Room

Children old enough to pack items can start by marking and packing their moving boxes. You can then have more hands on deck to reduce the items you must pack yourself. Of course, older kids can likely handle more fragile items than their younger counterparts.

Introduce the Movers

If you use a moving company, you can introduce your kids to the people helping you move. Children tend to feel included in the process and are less likely to fear the sudden influx of strangers moving around their soon-to-be old home. Having a name to attach to a face tends to help people of all ages in potentially stressful situations.

Arrange Childcare

Childcare arrangements can help if you have toddlers or disabled children you cannot reasonably involve in parts of the moving process. Doing so can protect them when moving heavy items or if you don’t have enough space for the moving assistants and others to be on-site together. When you know they’re in safe hands, you can focus on the duties you need to complete to prepare everything for moving day.

There may also be times when you need your older kids away. Try arranging a day they can spend at their friend’s house or learn methods they can use to stay in touch. You could also allow your teen to see a few places they’re leaving behind to give yourself a much-needed break.

Give a Farewell to Your Old Home

Before you leave for good, take the time to walk the halls with your kids one last time. Give them time to cherish their memories with the property and have a sense of closure over moving away.

If the kids are less attached to the house and more attached to their friends, you can give them time to hang out in person. You can also ask them if they want to visit nearby places they enjoy and let them choose where to go.

#4. Help Them Adjust After Moving

When moving alone, going to a new space can feel exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Moving with kids amplifies those feelings, for you and them. You now have to settle into your new property, and it works easier if the kids are on board.

You can try a few methods to help them adjust to their new setting:

Room Decorating

If your kids planned on decorating their room or space, now is the time for action. Take some time to help them design their room, which can be as easy as placing their items in spots they designate. Sometimes, older kids may prefer doing this mostly alone, though you can help them set up the furniture.

Why does this help?

  • Familiarity: Your kids may feel less stressed about being in a new space with familiar items around them.
  • Situational Control: Your children can gain control over their new situation by allowing them to change their space to suit their tastes.
  • Stress Relief: However you’ve travelled, your children likely need to stretch their legs. Giving them something to do can burn off nervous energy.

Reintroducing Routines

If you had specific routines at your old residence, restart that routine in the new home. The routines can include eating at a certain time or playing board games on specific nights. 

Even if you haven’t unpacked everything yet, keep as close to the routine as possible. For example, you may not be able to eat dinner at the dining table as usual, but at least you’ve started dinner right on time.

Introducing Them to the Area

Looking at locations through photos and being there in person are different experiences. If you couldn’t take your kids to the new neighbourhood and house before the move, take some time to explore with them now. You might become more comfortable with your new area and home, too.

If you and your family enjoyed walking at a park back at the old home, find a new park and explore around it. Meet the neighbours so you and your kids can learn more about the area and potentially make friends. Such activities can help everyone acclimate to the new living arrangements.

Expert Movers in Montreal

Keeping your kids involved and minding their feelings tends to do wonders for familial growth and the moving process. You can also take the stress out of moving by hiring Discount Moving professionals.

Our team offers commercial, residential, and long-distance, cross-border moving services, from packing and loading to unboxing. You tell us what you’d like us to do, and we follow with the heavy lifting. If you’re moving with kids and need decluttering tips for long-distance relocation, call Discount Moving at 514-933-3555 or visit our contact page for a free quote!