Six tips to surviving a move with kids
As I was reading stuff.co.nz, there was an article about moving stress which had quoted some statistics as moving being relatively low on the stress scale. As any of us know who have moved, it can be a hugely stressful affair, often made more stressful and logistically demanding when you add in the complications of some little angels posing as helpers.
If you have children and are thinking of moving here are our top tips to surviving a move with kids.
1. SAY GOODBYE TO THE HOUSE
For younger children especially, moving may be a stressful anxious time. Let them go out with a bang, throw a goodbye party to the house sharing memories and visiting significant spots.
2. GIVE THEM WORK TO DO!
Bored helpers are similar to tornadoes when you are in packing mode. Put them to work leading up to moving day so that they feel like they are a part of the move and to keep them busy. Dependent on their age, they can help pack and label their own boxes, my daughter loves to draw pictures on any kind of box making her boxes instantly recognisable.
3. LET THEM PACK THEIR OWN BAG
I always let my kids take responsiblity for packing their own bag with everything they need for the first night in their new house. I write a list for the essentials, but the rest is up to them. This enables them to pick their favourite things which will help them feel safe and secure in their new environment.
4. NEGOTIATE A DEAL
I have found sticker charts with a list of jobs work well to keep them moving through the work are fantastic with the rewards coming in some of the tips below. There has always been an extra reward if they are well behaved and helpful during the actual move, and when all else fails, I call in my Mum!
5. COMPILE ACTIVITIES DO TO DURING THE ACTUAL MOVE
It may seem obvious, but on of the best ways to keep kids entertained is to have plenty of things on hand for them to pass the time. After forgetting to do this a couple of times and having my cellphone battery run down with my charger gone walkabout due to my disorganisation I now carry a minimum of the below.
- Activity pack with plenty of paper, scissors, glue, stickers and felt-tip pens.
- Travel Lego boxes, my biggest saving grace. Take an old tupperware container or lunchbox, glue a baseplate in the lid and get the kids to choose their own lego pieces to create masterpieces on the move.
- Boggle, this is one of the greatest inventions for compact games on the move that keeps their competitive little minds engaged for hours.
- Books or the kindle (remember to charge it). I have also found audio books great when they are getting tired and running low on energy.
7. ACCEPT OFFERS OF HELP
When friends and family offer to help with the kids, bring you wine, dinner or help unpack millions of boxes, accept the help with open arms.