Making a big move can be a considerable ordeal, and there are so many different things to consider. Aside from the logistic aspect of the move, psychologists say that moving can be a potential traumatic situation for a child for a variety of reasons.
With this in mind, it will be important as a parent or guardian to consider the ways moving can be difficult on yourself and your child and remove as many of the obstacles and to make it a good fun and family adventure as you can ahead of time. The more you set this adventure up to be fun and exciting and painless as possible, the less of an emotional impact it will have on your child’s memories. Here are a few things a parent should consider when moving out of state with their child.
1. Fully Investigate the Legalities of your Move
You will need to fully understand all the legal implications of moving if you are divorced or have a shared custody agreement of any sort. This should be done by contacting your lawyer and gaining a full professional perspective on the responsibilities and rights you have to make this move with your child. The best plan is to look into this long before you even begin looking houses or applying for a job across the country. Getting the legal aspects of moving settled before you start will remove a considerable stress factor.
Furthermore, one of the first questions your child is likely to ask is if their father or mother knows about the move and how they will stay connected with their other parent. You will want to have a fully prepared answer to ease their minds and allow some stability in their uncertain future.
2. Make this a Family Adventure
Moving is, for all intents and purposes, a considerable adventure, and as a parent, you are writing a narrative. Don’t make this a horror story where things are scary and uncertain, and the child watches everything happening around them (before stumbling into a basement filled with ghosts).
Instead, involve them at every point and make sure they are fully aware of and involved in what is happening around them. There is no moving task that does not have smaller jobs well suited to little hands and energetic feet. Your kids can manage the yard sale, help with picking paint colors for their new room, and kids as young as five can help wrap cups and mugs in bubble wrap and gently place them in clearly marked boxes for shipping –– whip out the super-sized markers and sticker collection now.
3. Time is Your Ally
Give yourself enough time to mentally prepare your child and yourself for the big move. One important step will be to provide your child with as much information about their new home as you possibly can. An ideal scenario will be to actually visit the new city and even your new home with your child beforehand, but this is not always possible, understandably.
The last thing you can do is take some time to talk about the place, look up the city and area online and talk about the places you will see a lot and the places you might like to visit in the new area. Look up school, museums, parks, playgrounds, and if you can ask your realtor about taking a virtual or remote tour of the house to show your child their room.
You may not have very much time at all, and this means “No time to Go Fast.” Be extra slow and intuitive to your child’s greatest concerns and fears as they step into a new location. They will have questions, and behind these questions can be hidden concerns that must be alleviated.
4. Partner with a Kid-Friendly Moving Company
When the big day rolls around, you will find yourself running and pacing, and this may leave your child feeling alone and a bit scared. It will be important to avoid making your child feel like the third wheel on this very important day, and a plan should be made to avoid this. One thing that you can do is find best interstate moving companies. These specialized services usually have more experience working with families and can take some of the stings from seeing a bunch of burly movers tromping through the house and hauling away their young life in a truck.
Look around for some of the movers in your area that offer family-friendly services. You will find that they come prepared with childcare or pet care services. Other interstate moving companies will have small details (coloring books, etc.) that can be provided to keep kids entertained and involved. Others might have movers with an especially agreeable personality that always makes a stranger working in the house a little more welcome.
5. Host A Good-Bye Party
The first thing you should begin planning is the big Good-Bye Party you will host to ensure your child gets to say their fond farewells to their friends and neighbors. This will provide essential closure to their old home and take away the fear involved with going to a new place where they will need to make new friends. You can ask that each friend bring a small memento, so your child has something to remember you by.
6. Minimize Change Upon Arrival
Do everything you possibly can to ensure your family a regular routine and home life that continues without a hitch or is quickly adapted to the new home. Things, like continuing “Pancake Sunday” or finding a new favorite pizza place for “Pizza Friday” at your new place will let your child know that through all the change, family and home is the same.
7. Pack a “Moving-Day” Bag
Your child will be unhappy and slightly insecure without their belongings for a full week. Some are able to make packing and preparing the moving bag fun and interesting experience. Tell them they can select only the most important items as most of their stuff will be out of reach for around a week. Make sure they have plenty of time to prepare the things they will need for the trip.
When you pack your bag, be sure you include plenty of small surprises and other goodies that will keep your child upbeat and positive until they have settled in well. You will find that when moving interstate with small kids, it is the small things that matter.