Moving with kids can be difficult. Trust me I know! We’re in the middle of our 5th miliatry move in six years. But I finally figured out how to make the transition a little easier on you and the kids! Here are my favorite tips that will keep the whole family happy.
6 Tips for moving with kids
We are in the middle of a Military Move (PCS). The strangest and perhaps one of the most challenging PCS’s we have ever done. No-fault of the military, just that we chose to do things a bit differently this time. I can honestly say, each move is exciting to me. We are lucky because my kids share in my adventurous spirit. But that doesn’t mean moving isn’t without its challenges.
They leave their friends, clubs, house (not home because home is where your heart is) and teachers for the unknown. But I have found what I think is the key to making the transition easier and even something to look forward to because moving with kids is not easy. And it all starts and ends with getting them connected to their new community and doing so quickly. Let’s face it as a military family, we don’t spend much time in one place so time is of the essence.
1. Use social media to connect with new people
Connect and get informed. I can not stress enough how important this is. There is so much information on social media and anything you want to know can be answered. From business pages to local groups, the information is endless.
(add in personal experience – like meeting your BFF a month or two before moving to the same state and bonding over “leeches”. HAHA)
2. Research your new home state
Research, research, research! I know this sounds totally lame but really it helps the kids get an idea of where they are going. I have taken them to the library to check out books and the next state we would be moving to. They found all sorts of interesting facts and photos that helped get them excited. Similar to planning a vacation but a bit more permanent.
3. Explore your new community
In the midst of a move things are hectic, I get it. But take an hour or so out of the day to hit up one of those cool sites they found in the books or online when researching the state. It really helps them connect the pieces.
4. Sign the kids up for local sports or clubs
Get involved in sports and clubs right away. I usually start contacting the local chapters of each sport or club prior to the move. Getting the ball rolling is a game-changer. With some sports having deadlines and try-outs, its best to be on top of this.
My kids have personally been apart of boy scouts, girl scouts and 4-H which is nationwide, so getting them transferred over isn’t tough.
Now finding local soccer clubs and dance studios may prove to be a bit more challenging, but not impossible. Remember tip #1 – Use local Facebook groups and ask for recommendations! Other moms have no problems telling you the truth when it comes to activities for kids, especially when it comes to ones that cost the big bucks.
Getting started with local chapters right away gives my kids a leg up on making new friends; they already have something in common.
5. Get out and socialize in your new neighborhood
Getting to know neighbors and parents of schoolmates gives my kids a sense of community and belonging. I am always the first to volunteer to throw a block party or host a play- date.
Most other parents love to get together and sometimes just need someone to put it together. Our block parties and get-togethers have proven time and time again, to bring my kids closer to neighbors and foster great friendships.
6. Normalize their lives
I know this sounds like a no brainer and perhaps just because I have a special needs child but make their space their own. I always unpack my kids’ rooms first. Making their space familiar makes them more comfortable and helps them to open up to new surroundings.
These simple tips have kept my kids and me semi-sane during hectic times in our lives. It truly is not easy moving with kids, to pick up your life and try and drop it into a new town but by doing these simple things, life can be a little easier.
I take these steps and run with them. Matter of fact, moments before writing this I had just signed my 8-year-old daughter up for a dance sampler at the local dance academy. She will be attending with her new “friend” which she has met once, thanks to connecting with her mom via a neighborhood Facebook page.
My son also has an acquaintance that he can ride bikes with to the local park and shoot hoops. He met this child the first day we went to the community center.
Having been in our new home only a week I feel like my kids are settling in nicely. Those worries of fitting in or if there will be kids to play with are gone and they are now enjoying their new home, even in the presence of the never-ending moving boxes.
Moving isn’t easy for anyone. I know this first hand. I have spent those days locked in my house because I was feeling like a fish out of water, overwhelmed and let’s face it, slightly depressed because my whole life had just been uprooted…once again.
Allow yourself that time and then push forward. Get out and explore, socialize and just put yourself out there. It will prove to be beneficial for your entire family.
Want more tips for moving? Read Renee’s tips for making moving easier for kids and find out what to do BEFORE heading to your new home.