8 tips for moving with kids
Moving is an exciting time! You've found a new home and you’re ready to create new memories with your family. But it can also be a stressful experience, especially with young children in tow. Adjusting to big changes and coping with uncertainty can be challenging for kids, and when you’re moving with kids it’s bound to disrupt their routine. Luckily, you can set your family up for success with these helpful tips to help you and your kids cope with moving!
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Discuss the move with your kids
Before your kids start to see any visible changes associated with moving such as packing boxes or a “for sale” sign on your lawn, be sure to talk to them about what's happening. Hearing you talk about it in a positive way and taking time to answer their questions can help them know what to expect. Will they have to change daycares or schools? Will they like their new room? Answer their concerns and let them express their emotions.
Your child may express all sorts of emotions in the months or weeks leading up to the move. Do not trivialize these emotions and listen to their needs. Whenever possible, involve them in activities associated with moving. Do you need more resources to explain the move to your little ones? We recommend reading Naître et grandir’s fact sheet Children and moving.
Make games and activities out of moving
To make moving with kids less anxiety-provoking for your child, try to turn the steps of your move into a fun game. Play "moving" with them! Grab a few boxes and a toy truck and role play how moving house will play out. Be sure to address and work through any feelings of sadness, anger, fear, or excitement that may come out of it. You can also read children's books about moving. Your child will have the chance to identify with someone, a character, who is going through the same situation, and this can be especially encouraging if the story ends well!
Allow them to pack their things
Give your kids the task of filling a few boxes. They will feel included and will not be shocked to find their toys disappearing overnight! You can also ask for their help to label their boxes – keep the felt-tip pens nearby and let your kids draw on the cardboard boxes and decorate them. Use your creativity!
Show your kids the new home and neighbourhood before moving in
If it’s possible for you to arrange with the seller or current tenant, try to show your kids their new home before moving. It will feel less mysterious and uncertain, and they will feel a little more familiar with the place when the time comes to sleep there for the first time. Take a walk with your kids around the neighborhood and give them time to get to know the new area. Why not find the nearest park or playground and enjoy some play time? They will already be able to create happy memories and positive associations with your new place!
Plan a special "first night in the house" box
Even for an adult, a first night in a new place comes with its fair share of worries. There are new noises, a new layout – it just feels different. The same goes for your kids. Children tend to look for what is familiar to reassure them, so try to pack a special box with all the things your kids will need to feel at home on that first night. This might include their favorite pajamas, their most beloved stuffed toy, their favorite bedtime story books, a star projector on the ceiling, etc. That way, you won't have to rummage through eight different boxes to find the stuffed animal your child can't fall asleep without!
Keep a consistent routine
Every parent knows how important a consistent routine is for a child! There is something reassuring about following the same steps every day. Try to maintain a similar routine before, during, and after the move – whether it's mealtime, bathing or bedtime. This will allow your child not to feel too confused or stressed and to transition more easily to your new home. Remember that children tend to absorb stress from their parents, so try to regulate your emotions and let go of the things you can't control.
Prioritize the kids’ rooms
Help your kids find their new bearings by setting up their new room first. Try to keep the same furniture and decorations as in the old room, or if you change a piece of furniture, try to tell them beforehand. Does your child want to choose the theme of their new room? Take them shopping with you so they can help choose new decor and get an idea of what will be in their new room. The less change there is, the more comfortable they will feel and will be able to adapt to their new living space.
Good to know
Moving day can be an intense experience, even without kids! Some children might enjoy being part of the move, so including your kids on moving day might work great for your family. You may also want to consider childcare or leaving your kids in the care of someone you trust for the day. Then you can focus on managing the chaos and the boxes, without having to also manage your kids running everywhere!
Once the move is complete, your child may require more attention than usual. That’s completely normal. Even if you have a million things to do in your new home, don’t forget to take the time to play with your kids and create a positive environment, or provide extra comfort and reassurance. Every child reacts differently to a move – you may see the sudden reappearance of old behaviors that you haven't faced in a long time. That’s also completely normal! These reactions will disappear when your kid feels comfortable and safe again. Arm yourself with plenty of patience and kindness towards your little ones who are experiencing big changes.
Don't forget to get home insurance!
Don’t forget to communicate your new address to your insurer and take the time to evaluate your insurance needs*. Maybe your new home needs extra sewer backup protection? Request a quote and protect what matters to you with Intact Insurance*. We're here to help you find the coverage that's right for you*. Take a look at our article on calculating your home insurance premium to find out all the discounts you may be entitled to, and for more information about your insurance premiums*. Moving with young children is not always easy, but at least you can have peace of mind with your home insurance. Then you can focus on spending quality time with your family in your new home!
A quick reminder
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* Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions apply to all our offers. Please see intact.ca for more details. These offers are subject to change without notice. The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only. Your insurance contract prevails at all times; Please see it for a full discussion of protections and exclusions.