Do you have a big move coming up? As a military family –we’ve moved A LOT! It’s part of who we are. It has become something the kids expect and actually look forward to. But as they get older the moves become harder. Leaving friends, changing schools and adjusting to a new life can be challenging for tweens and teens. Here are my tips for making moving easier on kids.
Include them when looking at homes
Many times we’ve lived on base or in military housing, which means options are limited. But my oldest has always enjoyed looking over the floor plans and pictures of our choices. It gives her a chance to pick her room and imagine how she’s going to set it up. She goes into the move with a sense of it being her space.
Let them help plan the trip to your new destination
Make the move a mini vacay! With two cars, three kids and pets we always did road trips to our new duty station. We’d sit around the table and plan the route as a family. Each of us chose a place to stop and researched there was to see and do. This allows them to get excited for the upcoming trip.
My husband and daughter love anything sci-fi. So, when it was time to plan our move from Louisiana to California a stop at Roswell, New Mexico to see hunt aliens was at the top of their list.
Have them pack a small box to bring with them
Don’t make them pack all their treasures. It can take weeks for personal belonging to make it to the new duty station and the kids struggled with the possibility of losing their most valuable possessions. We’d give each kid a small box or bag for special items they couldn’t live without. It was such a small thing that brought them so much comfort.
Make contact cards for them to give to their friends
Social media and cell phones make keeping in touch super easy! For the older kids we printed off little “business” cards for them to give their friends. We also let them set up locked down Facebook pages that we monitor very closely. Social media allows our military brats to keep in touch with family and friends from all over the country.
If letting your kids have Facebook isn’t something you’re comfortable with then see if you can connect with the friend’s parents.
Set up a farewell party
Movers have come and gone, so what do you do in an empty house? P-A-R-T-Y! There’s nothing to break, plenty of room and it lets the kids say “see ya later” to all their friends in one place. Make sure the camera is out so they can get as many pictures as possible! My kids love to put these pictures up in their new rooms to remember their old friends.
Get them involved in activities at your new location
Now that you’ve broken the news about moving and found your new home it’s time to start looking at activities for your kids to join. Being in a new spot with no friends and nothing to do is rough on anyone, especially kids. So, having sports or clubs set up for them to join is a great way for them to start building new friendships. Plus, it helps you meet new people!
We love moving to new places, but it can be tough, especially on tweens and teens. These are just a few ways to make moving easier on kids. Do you have a favorite tip when it comes to moving with kids? Share them in the comments!