At one point or another, odds are, you’re going to be making moves with your children, with the average American moving at least 11 times during their lifetime, according to FiveThirtyEight, a statistics blog. While it’s stressful on the adults, it can be even more stressful for the kids, but these tips can help make moving to Calgary or any other city a little easier.
Explain Your Plans to the Kids Well in Advance
While some may advise not telling the kids and packing up in the middle while they’re sound asleep, that can make things far use, especially if they’re old enough to know any different. While you might want to do some packing while their snoozing, be sure to explain your plans well in advance to give them time to adjust and prepare goodbyes with friends. It’s important to acknowledge their feelings and to be sympathetic – even if it’s an exciting move, they’re going to be nervous about the unknown. You might want to pick up some books about your new city to prepare them for what awaits, focusing on the positive aspects.
Let the Kids Help So They Can be Part of the Process
If the kids are allowed to help and actually be part of the process, the transition is likely to go much smoother. Those who are old enough can even pack up some of their own things. This is the perfect time to get rid of items they aren’t using and teach an important lesson too. Explain that many children aren’t as fortunate as they are as they don’t have as many toys, games, books, clothes and the like. Give them a box and tell them to fill it with things they no longer use so that another child can use them who will really appreciate the gift. Just be sure to keep an eye on what goes in the box so that nothing important is accidentally given away.
With items they plan to take with them, give your children the important job of labeling the boxes. You can give them crayons and markers and ask them to draw what’s inside the box on the outside, or just doodle whatever they’d like.
Once There, Stick to the Usual Routine
Once you’ve moved in, you may be in a new house by try to maintain your usual routine as much as possible to reduce the stress. Keeping up regular rituals such as special Sunday breakfasts or other family meals, game night and story time before bed helps to build a sense of consistency which is reassuring. Avoid buying new bedding if you can, letting them sleep in their familiar sheets and blankets, with their favorite stuffed animals or dolls can make a big difference too.
Encourage Opportunities for Making New Friends
One of the most difficult things about moving for children is being far away from familiar friends. Be sure to encourage as many opportunities for making new ones as possible. Get to know your neighbors and introduce them to their children, assuming there are kids around. You can also sign the kids up for activities that they’ll be excited to take part in bringing the chance to meet others with similar likes. Once you know who’s who, you may want to throw a potluck or party, inviting school, work and neighborhood parents to bring their kids.