While there is a ton of preparation involved, like drawing up a budget and finding the right moving company, as a parent your first priority will always be your kids. You want to do everything you can to help make the move as positive an experience as you can for them, but where do you even start? Here are a few ideas to help you help them.
Include them in the decision making and planning, so they feel like they are part of the process and not having a life-changing move thrust upon them. It doesn’t have to be big things, but even asking what colour they think you should paint the new lounge could really help, even if it doesn’t end up being rainbow walls with glitter.
Encourage them to ask questions about moving abroad and make sure you avail yourself to answer them with as much positivity as you can. Removing the mystery from a big move can go a long way to assuage your child’s fears.
Leading up to the move, create a poster or mood board for their room. Include exciting things you plan on doing in the new country. Try including commonly used phrases or translations if they will be encountering a new language.
You could also teach them to cook a new dish relating to your destination country and add the recipe to the poster. The aim here is to visually represent the destination as positively as possible.
Set up dates in a calendar for video chats with the friends and family they will be leaving behind. Encourage them to write letters or send postcards of their new adventures. Maintaining strong relationships with their support system will make the move and adjustment process far easier.
A good moving company will keep you completely clued up about the steps involved in packing up your household and moving abroad. Share the process with your kids so they know what shape the move will take and that they won’t necessarily be leaving everything behind.
Have them help clean out their rooms and organise their things as to what will go and what will stay. If there are items like a much loved giant teddy bear or large doll house that cannot be taken, suggest that they are given as gifts to family or friends. They could even “babysit” the item until your next visit.
Packing for a big move is also a great opportunity to teach kids about the importance of charity. Taking their items to welfare organisations and meeting the other children who will be benefiting from their gifts will help teach them about the rewards of helping those less fortunate.
That said, don’t be too strict about a major purge, especially when it comes to toys. Having their belongings around them in a new space could be a big comfort to a child. Help them feel in control by getting a crate or carton of the appropriate size from your moving company and allow them to fill it with what they want. What they find the most comfort in, might not be what makes the most sense to you.
The team at Stuttaford Van Lines are standing by if you need advice or want to get a quote, so don’t hesitate to contact them.