Friday, June 23, 2006

MOVING WITH CHILDREN

If you let it, moving can be terribly stressful-especially when kids are involved. I'm lucky enough that my kids are still very young (4 yrs & 17 months). The transition from another state, another day care, a different environment and different people shouldn't be too stressful for them. To make sure the moving transition is smooth for my family these are some of the tactics I used:

1. BE HONEST-tell your kids all there is to know about the move

2. DON'T SHOW YOUR STRESS-kids pick up on that & think they should behave the same way

3. KEEP THEIR IMMEDIATE ENVIRONMENT AS FAMILIAR AS POSSIBLE-favorite toys, stuffed animals, a familiar chair, TV, whatever makes them comfortable

4. LET THEM BE A PART OF IT-if they are old enough & want to help pack, clean, look at new houses, etc.-let them feel involved

5. SHOW & TELL-show the kids on a map or the internet where they're moving to and tell them all about the new place

My 17-month-old really doesn't have a clue as to what is going on. My daughter will turn 4-years-old in about a week and is very aware of "something" going on. I've been very honest with her. I told her we were moving to Texas for mommy's new job and to be near our family. Another lucky thing about our move, is my entire family lives in and around Houston. By letting my daughter know she'll be able to see her Nanna, her Mimi and her cousins more often, the move becomes exciting to her. But, her concept of moving is that of a small child. She believes the apartment we currently live in will be moved on a truck to Texas. She also believes that her day care provider and playmates will also be in Texas. I had to carefully explain that the apartment could not be moved and that we'd be getting a newer, bigger place. I then explained to my daughter that she'd be meeting new friends at another day care in Texas. If she missed her friends here, we could call them, write to them and send them updates and pictures.
I will soon sit down with my daughter at the computer and show her the driving route we're taking from California to Texas-she'll get to visually see the trip.
I allowed my daughter to assist in some of the packing and let her pick out some favorite things she'd like to have during the transition. She felt a part of the process and thought she was a "big girl."
It's best if you can have a place to move to before the actual move. It just makes the move easier on kids if there are fewer changes in the surroundings. In our case, I was not able to pick out a place before our move. And in an effort to avoid, several environmental changes, we're staying with my generous sister and her family while I look for a home. My kids will think it's a holiday visit and will feel comfortable.

For me, the most stress came from trying to decide on a moving van company or uhauling it. I did lots of research. There are several sites you can list your move and companies will contact you with email quotes. The Uhaul quote was almost as much as the cheapest moving company quote and didn't include loading/unloading labor and the cost of GAS! So I went with Golden Van Lines in North Hollywood. Their quote was fair and didn't change too much. Be prepared-the quote will not be the final cost! The company also included free storage for a month.

When choosing a moving company ask these questions:
1. CAN SOMEONE COME LOOK AT EVERYTHING & GIVE ME A DEFINITE QUOTE (they'll have you list everything for an email or over-the-phone quote-but in person they can get a better idea)
2. DO YOU CHARGE BY WEIGHT OR BY CUBIC SPACE USED? The company I went with let me choose. I knew my stuff would be very heavy so I went with space used
3. DOES THE QUOTE INCLUDE PACKING MATERIALS?-IF NOT WHAT ARE THE EXTRA COSTS FOR BOXES, SERAN WRAP & TAPE? Some companies offer furniture blankets free and free use of wardrobe boxes-other materials are usually at a cost
(I had to pay $95 for tape because I didn't provide enough-it's great they wrapped the stuff I missed so well-but $2.50 a roll!)
4. IS THERE A FUEL SURCHARGE? Most companies will charge up to 15% of fuel charges-I paid 6%
5. IF I NEED STORAGE DO YOU PROVIDE IT & AT WHAT COST? Most offer one month free

11 comments:

Burfica said...

so are just you and the kids moving??? Not to pry, but I thought I had read about a husband a few posts back.

My sister lives in Texas. Me and my son went for the summer there last year. My mother had moved from here (where me and my husband had taken care of her for the past 12 years) to living in a nursing home there for a year before she passed away.

It was great for my son to get to see her one last time before she passed, and it was good for me too. My husband came out for a week before we all came back to Az. So...he saw her too.

It was very stressfull on us to be gone almost 3 months. But then again, if it was "our" home it would have been easier.

I hope your transition goes smoothly and with tons of good memories.

Kelley said...

The hubby is driving with us, but he'll be keeping a lil' place in LA for his work in the film industry and go back and forth. He's always traveling (mostly abroad) for work so I'm hoping the amount of time we see him will be about the same. He's so close to big success that it soon shouldn't matter where his base is. For now, it does complicate things and will probably have to be another posting!

Micah said...

I am SO sad to hear you're moving! What does Fightin' Mad have to say about this?!?!?

Are you excited? Grateful? Nervous?

It sounds like you're TOTALLY prepared though. I wish I was in town to attend your going away party.

When ARE you going away?

Kelley said...

Thanks, Micah. Fightin' Mad hoped I'd change my mind!

yes to all the above emotions! Change is always scary-though I'm very excited.

We drive off Sunday morning-it's about a 23 hour drive and it seems like more than half of it is through Texas- LOL!

Fightin' Mad Mary said...

Fightin' Mad Mary is so upset.....but I know that so much good will come out of this change. Kelley - you MUST buy a house. I know it's scary but you can do it!!!
Live in it a couple of years then rent it out and move back to LA!!!

Anutza Bellissimo, CAMF said...

Great Job Kelley! Keep up the good work. We wish you all well in Texas
Love ya,
Anutza & Mia Bellissimo

Kelley said...

Fightin Mad-I hope we buy a house-I'll start looking at some soon and I'll keep you posted.

Thanks, Anutza-I'm glad to be here. I'll miss you-kiss lil' bella Mia for me.

Micah said...

ARE YOU THERE YET? ARE YOU THERE YET?!?!?!?

Kelley said...

YES-We made it and with all my nerves in tact. I don't have my own computer so when I've got the time and someone's to borrow again-I'll post all about the drive.

willam said...

aww! we'll miss ya!
(but at least now that luminous promise of babysitting will be well out of reach.)

movegirl1024 said...

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