Six Tips for Managing an Out-of-State Move with Young Children

A kid acting up on moving day, a special toy left behind, forgotten snacks on the counter, or a harried mother and a stressed-out father trying to calm their kids to get into the car so everyone can get on the road. This picture presents an unpleasant start for an out-of-the-state move. However, the tips in this article will help you transition from the old place to the new one without any issues.

1. Consider the Kids in Your Decisions

Kids need to be factored in when making major decisions, such as moving out of state. If kids are smaller and have not established a good grasp of their environment, they may have trouble coping with the newness of things.

Preschoolers are more adaptable to new things and may meet their new best friend in a week or two after the move. Since they can understand the situation better, talking to your kids about the move, what to expect, and the new people they’ll meet helps.

School-age kids are more difficult to deal with, especially since they have forged stronger friendships. They also hate change and most likely show signs of anxiety when they think of going to a new school. Whatever the age of your child, though, be there for them.

Kids need to be factored in when making major decisions

2. Map Out the Move

Kids are more comfortable if they can visualize the move. Google Maps or an actual map is a good tool to use. Let your kids follow the road you’ll be taking with a marker on the map, or help them navigate your way with the Google Map. Road trip games are a good way to keep your kids entertained during the long ride.

An example of a good game to play is to spot the landmarks you find on the map. You can help check these landmarks on a physical map with a marker. If you have more than one kid on board, try to make the game a contest for who sees the most landmarks.

3. Explore the New Place

When you arrive at the new place, familiarize yourself and the kids with the neighborhood.

Some of the places you need to visit are the park, school, grocery, shops, and amusement centers, so they know that they can still do fun activities even if they’re in a new place. Moving to a new school may be the most stressful part of the move for your child. Spot the symptoms of school anxiety and learn how to help your kids handle them. 

4. Follow Your Previous Routine

Kids want permanence, routine, and predictability in their lives. When kids get uprooted because their parents have to move for their job, kids get agitated and may act up. However, keeping your previous routines like playing with them, visiting the park, regularly attending church, or other routine activities with your kids will help them transition to the new place more easily.

5. Keep Connected with Friends

One of the main reasons kids get stressed when moving is due to leaving their friends behind. However, with technology more accessible to kids, you can help your kids stay connected with their friends. Skype or Zoom are child-friendly apps that kids can use without exposing them to social media where you will have trouble tracking their activities and online posts. All you need is an email address, and you can already set up an account that your kids can use to connect with their old friends.

Kids get stressed about leaving their friends behind.

6. Help Your Kids Settle In

When you arrive at the new place, don’t rush things. Settling in a new place takes time, even for adults. For kids, settling in takes much longer. Help them transition into the new place by following these tips:

Let Them Vent

Kids may take an out-of-state move in different ways. If your kid is angry, let him vent his anger. After a time, he will settle down and allow himself to see the possibilities in the new place. Be a model for your kids on how to handle frustrations also.

Allow Time for Unpacking

Rest is necessary for everyone upon arrival at the new place. While it is tempting to get on with unpacking and arranging rooms, younger kids need their rest before taking on a huge task such as unpacking.

Some kids may be in denial after a move, so don’t rush them into unpacking things. Unpack the necessary, but let them do the unpacking for their things like toys or books. By doing this, you give your kids control over their feelings. Have a bookshelf or toy caddy ready to use when they start unpacking their things.

Things to Remember

Always consider the consequences of a move from a child’s perspective. Be more open to your kids and listen to their verbal and non-verbal cues. After the move, children moving to middle school are usually the most hit by the change. At this age, children forge long-lasting friendships and being uprooted results in frustrations and anxiety. Patience is the key to managing your young children when moving out of the state.

Six Tips for Managing an Out-of-State Move with Young Children

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