♥ Moving to a new home with kids

Relocating to a new home with little ones...

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Copyright Andy Dean Photography

♥  Growing up as a military brat, I had more than my share of moving from home to home, state to state, school to school. By the time I was 19, I had moved 13 times!! (YOU do the math!) 

As The Colonel's kids, we moved often, we were uprooted, we said good bye far more frequently than most kids do and we learned to detach, disconnect and we let go - only because we had no choice in the matter. So writing letters, pen pals and old photographs, nostalgic songs and faded memories were all we had to cling to. We may not remember what the inside of our 3rd grade house looked like or what our best friend's name was back in kindergarten. But thanks to the modern conveniences of things like email, facebook, texting and instagram - we can reconnect, we can remember and reminisce, we can stay in touch, we reach out so we can feel a part of something - even if from a long distance. So we share photos of our kids, our fur babies, our new house or our job promotion! We get on social media to say hello to long lost friends that we haven't seen since grade school, we post the faded old photos of our funky friend wearing fuzzy rainbow knee socks at the roller skating rink. This is the way we can stay in touch and remain connected thru the years. 

It wasn't easy... but I learned quickly to adapt. But for a young child... a move itself can be somewhat traumatic. 

Whether moving out of state, out of the country or to a new neighborhood just around the corner, children will typically be uncomfortable with the change. Understandably! They may have to start at a new school, say good bye to their favorite neighborhood playmates, start all over again. Making new friends does not come naturally to all kids. Some kids who are already shy, might become even more introverted. Believe it or not, many kiddos are completely terrified of meeting new people for the first time, having to strike up conversation with a total stranger. So it's your job as a parent to do what you can to help make their transition a little easier. To be sensitive to your child's needs, fears and insecurities.

♥  For me personally I think the hardest part for the adult would be planning the move and telling the kids. How to break it to them gently and with positivity, optimism and excitement. So they will look forward to the new and exciting changes ahead of them. Your attitude about moving and your willingness to let your children share in the experience will influence their feelings. Try to learn as much as possible about the new neighborhood, community and town ahead of time and share it with your kids. You don't have to make everything sound perfect and dreamy and ideal and amazing. But rather be honest - your matter-of-fact demeanor will be more helpful in the long run. If you try to over-sell the whole thing you might raise their expectations, getting their hopes up, then there may be disappointment. 

Learn about the new community, its various organizations and groups, school events, sports and other social activities. Ask your kiddos what they think they might want to try. (a soccer team? girl scouts? gymnastics? t-ball?) If you can find the time, drive your kids to the new area for a visit. Plan to spend the day doing a walk-through of the house and a tour of the new neighborhood. Grab an ice cream cone or a have a lunch date so they see that there are fun things to do in the new area and they'll start to build positive associations immediately.  

Try to establish good vibes about the new place from the very beginning. Go strawberry picking at a local farm, visit a fun kid museum or aquarium. Go kayaking  or hiking at the nearby state park. It's so important to engage your kids and show them all that your new home town has to offer. Maybe even visit the local library to pick up some new books and a DVD movie to watch in their new house. Drive by to take a look at each kid's new school. 

I remember my parents doing this for me and my siblings every time we'd move to a new state. And although I remember it gave me butterflies and caused me a little anxiety to see my soon-to-be-new-school... I do think it helped control my nerves. It gave me a preview of what to expect so that my first day of school wouldn't be a shock or feel unfamiliar or foreign. 

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Copyright Andy Dean Photography

♥  Do your best to keep it upbeat and positive. If you are stressed your child will see it. If you are moving due to a loss of a job or other not-so-happy reasons like a divorce or death of a spouse, your stress will be magnified and transferred onto your child. This is hard, but do your best, do not lean on your child for support or rely on them for comfort and healing. You are the parent, it is not their job to be the adult. You need to continue to tend to their needs and be their role model. Keep an eye on your child's emotional state. Watch for signs of depression: moping, crying privately, disinterest in activities, loss of appetite. A younger child or toddler might become inattentive or hyperactive or act out ie: yelling, hitting, being defiant or stubborn. 

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Copyright Andy Dean Photography

Ok enough of the heavy stuff... 
Let's get to the good stuff! 
(*shaking off negativity from sappy, sad stuff above) UGH!

MOVING DAYYY!!! Yay, now for the fun part! 
Moving day can be fun if you are well rested, prepared and organized. Yes really! I think every moving day I've ever had was fun! (and there were a LOT of ‘em - remember? ... military kid?) 

You can MAKE moving day fun! Here are my personal tips for a fun, successful smooth moving day:

1. Friends and family:
Ask for help, no matter how large your apartment or how enormous your mansion, ask for help. Even if you've hired professional movers - it's just nice to have family and friends around to help, to support you and to make the day go by faster. 

Kid tip: if the friends/family you’ve enlisted just so happen to have kids - invite them so the kiddos have someone to play with, something to do to keep out of the way. If they’re young, hire a sitter or an older sibling or cousin to watch all the littles in one room to keep toddlers out from under foot. Set aside a few toys that you don't pack so they’ll have something to play with, games, coloring books and crayons or washable markers Emphasis on WASHABLE!! We don't want anyone coloring on those empty walls on your last day in the house now do we? Load some fun kid movies on an ipad or tablet to entertain them. Have snacks and drinks in their play area so they wont need to come into the kitchen, pre-make PBJ sandwiches ahead of time and pack 'em up in ready-to-go ziploc bags or better yet - order a pizza! Make it a party! 

2. Get some sleep! The night before moving day will be THEE most important key to having a smooth moving day. Seriously. If you don't get to bed early to get your Zzzz's you'll be one tired, lethargic, sluggish zombie-wimp on moving day. No amount of coffee in the world will help you get thru moving day if you're too exhausted due to sleep deprivation. Try to avoid sleeping aid pills as they’ll leave you groggy come moving morning. For a milder, more natural alternative, take some melatonin if you’re having trouble winding down. Get your sleep! You'll need just as much rest before moving day as you will afterward - at the end of a long exhausting moving day! 

Kid tip: Tuck the kids in a little earlier than usual the night before moving day. This allows YOU to do your bedtime routine a little earlier so YOU can get to sleep earlier. 

3. Be organized. Make lists, write out sticky notes to reference throughout the day. Have extra rolls of packaging tapetape guns, box labels, fragile stickers and sharpie pens handy to make last minute markings on moving boxes

Kid tip: Ask older kids to help with this. Asking for their help makes them feel involved and an important part of the process. Maybe even somewhat in control of their “things” and precious belongings in boxes. 

4. Feed the people: Whether you’ve hired professional movers or it’s just friends and family helping, have some food and drinks available for various dietary choices. Yes, a big box of donuts or danishes and muffins is always the quintessential moving day offering. Of course pizzas, cookies, sugary snacks and sodas or those monster bull drinks loaded with caffeine to keep people moving and energetic. But be sensitive to dietary needs and offer healthier options like fruit, granola bars, protein bars, pre-bottled smoothies and protein shakes. And lots of WATER

Kid tip: Provide quick easy snacks and non messy foods. Low maintenance and no clean up! No messy fruits like peeling a drippy sticky orange, go for a banana, an apple, self serve yogurt squeeze tubes no cutlery necessary! Juice boxes, snack packs, fruit snacks, animal crackers, mini pretzels, etc. Oh and did I mention water? Hydrate people!

5. Keep your cool. Do your best not to lose it if you hear something drop and shatter. Don’t panic if you see someone scratch your dining room table against the corner of a door frame. Take deep breaths - don’t yell or freak out. Damaged things can be fixed, repaired or replaced. The thing to focus on is getting thru moving day as calmly as possible and looking forward to being settled in your new home. Worry about the damage later.

Kid tip: Try your best to keep it upbeat and positive. If you are stressed your child will see it. They will be even more sensitive to it - now more than usual. 

Good luck to you on your move! If you have any questions or concerns - I've done this many, many times! I'm happy to help! Send me a message or comment! 

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💗 Nanny Knowledge with Miss Jen
Parenting advice, tips and fun helpful insights from a Professional Nanny. • Nanny • Newborn Care • Life Coach • Blogger • YouTuber • Content Creator Find me on: