Moving with toddlers certainly has its surprises. Being prepared for the day is the best way to make sure the whole family can have a peaceful move. As a parent, your toddler-whisperer skills are probably already well-honed, but we’ve outlined some extra steps you can take to manage any moving anxieties, expectations and emotions that your youngster might have.
Explaining and showing your toddler what to expect from their new home and neighbourhood can help them understand and imagine the move. It’s also an excellent way to open up a dialogue with your child about a change of address. Some practical ways to do this: create a personalised Pinterest board with images of your new house, list things to see and do in your new neighbourhood, familiarise the faces of who’ll be close by or take a virtual tour of your new destination using Google Street View. If possible, have a walk around and introduce your toddler to the local cafe for a hot chocolate treat and visit the soon-to-be community park for a play. Whatever you choose to do, getting your toddler familiar with the idea of a new home and neighbourhood is a great way to prepare.
Packing and playing don’t have to be mutually exclusive activities. In the lead up to your move, help your toddler adjust to the abrupt change by playfully including them when you’re packing. Conditioning your kids to the process of packing up their favourite items into a box, closing the lid and moving it to the front door is a simple way to help them get used to the idea, and even develop some ownership over the move. This way, when everything you own is being placed in boxes and shipped out the door, your toddler won’t be confronted by the sudden change.
While an essentials box for every member of your family is important, it’s particularly crucial that your toddler has a box of familiar items that they can access anytime during the move. This box can include things that they’ve practised packing during play time as well as items that you feel will help alleviate their anxieties.
Keeping your toddler in the loop by making the move fun is a great way to help your child adjust with minimum stress. Taking a few simple steps can mean the difference between a tumultuous time and an exciting one.