Moving is a challenge, moving with young kids - especially toddlers can be an all out nightmare for some parents. As a parent myself - not to mention a master mover - here are a few quick tips from a pro to help other parents who are relocating soon.
5 Quick Tips for Moving With Kids
Brief your child in on the mission.
Before you begin moving, have a family meeting. Explain to your child that you're moving and need their help. Excite them about the adventure - you will be surprised on how cooperative little ankle-biters can be whenever you actually make it sound fun & exciting.
Assign them a duty
It may sound counter-intuitive, but try to include your child in the process. Sure, they probably can't lift heavy furniture or properly pack fragile items, but they can walk around their room picking up toys and placing them in a plastic bin. Make them decide which toys they want and which toys they want to give to Santa so he can give it to other kids.
Take a Night Post
Do your serious packing and getting rid of things whenever they are asleep, preferably at night. Most toddlers, especially after a busy day deciding which toys go and which toys disappear, will sleep through the night. Trying to reason with a child about which toys are important and which toys are not, will usually end with "all toys matter". Also, packing at night will give you more time to focus your attention to the fine details of packing up and labeling important stuff.
After things are packed and some boxes of goods mysterious disappeared at night, initiate a fare-well ritual. Gather the family around (perhaps camping on the living room floor), remember the good times and memories in that house. Then have the child walk from room to room saying good-bye to each room. Sounds silly, but this helps them get ready to say hello and transition to the new place.
Get Ready for a Road-Trip
Let your child pack a suitcase or backpack with a favorite outfit, a toy and a game to play while on the road. As a parent, you will set the tone for the whole relocation process. Make it seem fun, exciting and adventurous - even though you are exhausted and hating the process yourself. During the car ride, talk, be happy - lots of coffee and loud music helps set the vibes.
I hope these 5 simple, practical tips help you & your child prepare for your next phase in life. Remember, moving is stressful, but it doesn't mean there are not remedies you can teach your child as you prepare them for their future.