Moving With Kids and Pets

Sutton Quantum

Moving with Kids and Pets

Moving with Kids

Moving into a new home is exciting, but even at the best of times it can be incredibly stressful. Kids thrive on structure and routine, and a major life change like moving could send them into a tailspin - or at the very least, cause them to become withdrawn, worried, or scared. While some feelings of sadness may be inevitable, there are many ways to ease your kids and into the transition of moving and showing them that ultimately your home is wherever you are with your loved ones.

Don’t Wait to Talk About The Move

Once the details of the move are finalized, call a family meeting and explain to your kids what exactly is going on - where you’re moving to, when you’re going, and why this is the best decision for the family. Tell them how your thoughts as well - that you’re excited to have new adventures in a new home, but that you understand that moving somewhere new can be strange and scary. Ask them how they feel, and encourage them to ask you questions. And if they see that you’re enthusiastic and upbeat, chances are they’ll come around sooner rather than later.

Get Your Kids Involved

Part of what stresses kids out about moving is their perceived lack of control. If you give them opportunities to help pack or come with you to open houses, they’ll feel like they’re included in the process. Allowing them to choose their own paint colours or plan their new room will help them to visualize living somewhere different in a positive light. If you have time, take your kids on a day trip to your new city to see their new school, parks, playgrounds, and sports centres. The more they know beforehand, the easier it will be for them to adapt.

Help Them Say Goodbye

Leaving friends may be the most difficult part of moving for kids, especially if you move during the school year. Remind them of all the ways they can stay in touch with their friends, and teach them how to write and mail a letter. A simple farewell get together or slumber party is a great way to get all your kids’ friends together one last time and provide closure in a positive way. Remind your kids of the fun things to do in your new neighbourhood and that their old friends are welcome in your new home too.

Establish Routine

Having a talk with your kids about what will be the same at your new home and what will be different will help them fall more easily back into a routine and help manage their expectations. Make sure to have a box or two of your kids’ favourite toys or keepsakes and after the move unpack those first. If you can, try to keep the basic layout of their room as close to the old house as you can unless they’ve told you they want it a different way. It may be difficult at first to stick to family rituals like Friday night movies or Taco Tuesdays, but doing so will provide some stability and familiarity.

Moving with Pets

If you’re worried about your kids finding moving stressful, there’s no doubt it will have an impact on your pets, too. Since you can’t explain the situation to your pets or get them involved as you would with kids, you may feel helpless - but there are still ways to make the difficult process easier for your furry friends.

Visit Your Vet

A few weeks before you leave, make an appointment with your vet to make sure your pets are up to date with vaccinations. You may want to ask for a copy of your pet’s medical history as well. If you have any general or specific questions about moving your pet, your vet can be a great resource and may even suggest an anti-anxiety medication.

Update Your Pet’s Tags

Now that your pet will be in an unfamiliar place, it’s imperative that they have updated ID tags with your new contact information in the event that they get lost. Something else you may want to discuss with your vet is microchipping your pets.

Safety Precautions

Moving day is always a flurry of activity, and this will no doubt cause your pet to feel stressed. If you can’t find someone else to watch your pet for the day, it’s best to keep them in a separate, quiet place like a spare bedroom or a bathroom to make sure they won’t be underfoot. Take some time to research safe travel options for your pet. Do they need a crate? Are they anxious in long car rides? You may find it easier to have your pet stay with a friend or in a kennel for the first few days you’re settling in. Check outBringFido.comorPetsWelcome.comto find a list of hotels that accommodate pets, including birds, fish and exotic animals.

Set Boundaries

Just like kids, pets thrive in a structured, routine environment. Try to keep walks and feeding times the same as in your previous home. Depending on your pet’s temperament, you may want to resist letting them explore the entire home right away and instead start them in one room with their food, bed, and toys. After they’ve started to make themselves at home you can begin introducing them to other areas of the house.

Sutton Group Quantum Realty Inc., Brokerage.
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