Moving With Kids - Ten Important Tips

Moving is a busy time for you. You'll probably have a million things to do: packing, changing address, changing jobs, organising removalists, attending farewell parties and saying goodbye, booking flights, organising your car transport, transporting pets, and the list goes on. Handling your children, if you have them, can become a real juggling act and it can be hard not to get swept up in all the jobs you have to do. Try to keep in mind though, that they too are uprooting, leaving friends, attending new schools, dealing with all the excitement, and in need now, more than ever, of your love, attention and understanding. Organising your time and bearing in mind how your children are feeling is key to making their move as smooth and stress free as possible - you'll reap the benefits too.

Here we try and provide some tips on keeping your kids entertained and attended to during your move.

1) Don't pack all of your children's toys until last. Keep out some of their favourite things so that they'll be occupied while you're packing and with all this change it's comforting for them to have some familiar items to engage themselves with.

2) Listen to, and validate, your child's concerns about moving - leaving their friends, schools and familiar surroundings. Let them know that you hear them, and try to remind them of all the new experiences they're going to have. Children are resilient and adapt to change well if you lend your ear and try to remain in a positive frame of mind.

3) Make sure that your children's important cartons are marked clearly with what they contain. You'll want to get out their favourite toys, games and blankets as soon as possible when you get to your new residence. Having something familiar around can help ease their transition.

4) Use your support network. If family members and friends are available to help entertain your children while you prepare make sure to use them. They'll usually be more than prepared to help - after all, they're going to be missing your child too!

5) While you're researching and enrolling in schools at your destination, make sure you take the time to enrol your child in other extra-curricular activities in your new neighbourhood. Getting your child joined up with and participating in their local sporting clubs, scouts, guides, or other groups can help them make new friends and assimilate quicker when you get there.

6) It can be helpful if your child feels like they're not making a complete break with their past. It may be worthwhile retaining the contact details of a few of your child's closest friends so that they don't feel so isolated - having someone familiar and their own age to vent with or share in the excitement they may be experiencing.

7) At times your child may become upset that you (the big bad ogre!) are dragging them away from everything they know. Children aren't always as understanding as adults when it comes to moving. Getting them involved (where appropriate) can be key to getting them onside and excited. Think of creative ways to allow them to participate in the move. Delegate some manageable jobs to them and award 'gold stars' for getting a job done. Kids love to feel like they're helping, and they're ownership in the process can minimise resentment towards you (limiting negative behaviour) and get them working happily towards the family goal.

8) Naturally, you always make sure that your child is being supervised properly. At this time, however, supervision is doubly important. Moving in and out can seem like pandemonium. Make sure that you remain relaxed so that you're level headed enough not to overlook your most important assets with all the commotion happening. There are hazards you should always be mindful of when moving in or out: things are out of place and ripe for tripping you or your child over, heavy and cumbersome items will be lifted in, out and around your house. Be careful for yours and your child's sake.

9) Make sure that you organise and manage your time well. If you approach moving with a plan and a checklist you'll waste less time. Time you can spend making sure your children don't take a backseat in the whole process.

10) Always, always, always keep a first aid kit on hand. Don't pack it until last or transport it on your person. You don't want to be unpacking all your boxes searching for it should the need arise.

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