Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mindful Parenting: Moving with Children

As soon as a child is old enough to no longer be considered a baby – this may be considerably later for you than it is for them – then their role within moving day can change.  Whilst they are still children and should not be treated as workers or anything like that, neither can they be expected to nap through the whole thing or be entertained by a bouncy chair or walker.  Therefore, moving with children becomes something which you will need to consider and you may need a little bit of advice on.
School: If possible, move on a school day.  Obviously, this comes with problems of its own because school days are usually work days and requesting time off to move house isn’t ideal – though neither is it unheard of.  Moving while the child is at school gives you a timeframe for the move and a significant block of time to enlist the movers.  You can then collect the child and bring them to the new house from school or have a friend or relative take the child home either to their house or yours at your convenience. 
Help: If your child is old enough and responsible enough to be of real help to you in this move then let them.  A job as simple as labelling boxes to be filled, or once they have been filled, can be time consuming for you when you have so many other things to be doing but it does need to be done and if your child can do it then let them.  If you feel your child is too young to be given a significant task then giving them something that will feel important to them can have exactly the right effect of keeping them out of the way and keeping them entertained.  Such tasks might include; putting their own clothes in a suitcase – they’d probably need to be ironed on arrival anyway, dusting or polishing recently cleared surfaces, checking each room – thoroughly – for anything that had been left behind as each room is cleared.  I had a friend, whose 2 year old daughter spent the whole of moving day carrying individual books from the lower shelves of a bookshelf on one side of the room to a box on the other side of the room.  She was extremely pleased with herself and her mother barely heard a peep from her all day!
Company: On the whole it seems unfair to expect a child to entertain and occupy themselves with a task all day so it might be worth timetabling in a lunch break so that you can all have a break together and spend some time being social away from the manual labour and potential chaos before you throw yourselves right back into it.  Another solution might be to have friends on hand that your child can spend the day with so that they aren’t in the way and neither do they feel bored or neglected.  Organising a play-date with one of their friends might be an even better solution because it means that they can look forward to a day of fun and they won’t feel like they’ve just been carted off for the sake of it.
So don’t just assume, where your children are concerned, that everything will just slot into place on the day.  Have plans and provisions and make sure that they are happy leaving the old house and entering the new one.
Grace is a housewife and  writer keen on flowers, Italian food and house organizing. You can also enjoy her tips on Brent moving house and suggestions for creating a better home.

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