Moving places with Kids - made easier in 6 child-friendly ways!
We moved again with our kids, and in the process discovered new things about parenting. Children are very resilient by nature, but they are also creatures of routine and habit. So, to make life easier for our son who was surely going to miss his school, his friends, and his “home”, we etched out a plan. Since relocation generally happens over a mid to long term period, we had a few months to spare which we used wisely. Here’s what we did to make the entire process super comfy for our kid.
1. Go for a house-hunting holiday in the new city
Familiarize your kids to the new locale and make him comfortable with the changed surroundings. We went for a 3 day “Holiday” to our new destination and had loads of fun. The exciting flight ride, luxurious hospitality at a good child-friendly hotel and hours of research on various child-friendly housing complexes and other amenities meant that we had a clear idea of where to set up our new nest and how to go about it. We also showed him his play area, his bedroom and he loved it!
2. Take a lot of memories of the old home
Make the process of transition as smooth as possible for your kid. Prepare him mentally for the entire process through face-to-face “ thank you’s” and “ goodbyes” with all the people he or she was familiar with, be it the doctor or an attendant at his/ her favorite hangout places like restaurants, book shops etc. We also went to various ‘send away’ parties, and invited all our friends over to our place, giving away our much-loved plants as a gesture of heartfelt thanks. We also celebrated his birthday in advance with all his friends and the birthday boy sure had fun. Finally, we created a scrapbook, filling it with pics of his favourite friends and relatives and sweet little things like twigs from his favourite park, a beautiful archive of some really happy memories that we can always look back too, whenever we feel homesick. In the last pages of the book, we added pics of our new home, to generate excitement and curiosity in him. You too can create a similar scrapbook for your kids.
3. Start Networking
Get in touch with relevant peer groups and other social networks to get all the support and info you need. I got in touch with my existing social media networks like Babychakra and connected with other parents who moved recently. Their experiences and much-needed help proved invaluable in making our relocation smoother for everyone, especially my son.
4. Buy new stuff and Pack and unpack together
Involve your kids as much as possible in the whole process. Buy furniture or toys with him/her. Engross him/her in the overall packing process. We packed all our stuff together. We also made sure that when packers came in, our kid was involved through every stage of the process, and we even packed a full blown aeroplane foil balloon which a friend had gifted to us! Nothing which was important to him was left out - his bike, his favourite car with one tyre missing, his books and even all of his broken crayons.
5. Go on a holiday
Going for a short holiday or visiting your relatives is an excellent way to spend the first few days after your move when your new house looks and feels empty as most of your furniture has still not arrived and the unsettling feeling of living out of a suitcase could be a bit too much for your kids. We decided to visit his grandparents and had lots of fun, with so many aunts, uncles, and other relatives all around us, and shifted to our new home with a positive and upbeat frame of mind.
6. Organize your kid’s room first
As soon as you move in set up your kid’s room first and we did exactly that. He was involved thoroughly in it, sorting through books, clothes, and toys. We even played with the empty carton boxes and simply enjoyed playing “movers and packers”. We added new elements around the house and tried to forget what we left behind.
Create space for all your spare stuff and store them in one room, open one box a day or a week, based on your pace. Cook batch meals and store them in the fridge, so that you don’t have to worry about food while reorganising. Don’t forget to hug a little more, and cuddle up when it becomes overwhelming.
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