Moving with Kids & Pets

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Moving is exciting, but it can also be a headache. It involves a lot of preparation, time, and manpower to move an entire family from one home to another. Though the process is taxing on adults, it can be especially stressful on both the children and pets in a family.

Kids may be resistant to the change or feel attached to their home, but it can be helpful to get them involved and allow them to say goodbye to their home. Pets won’t understand the change, so it’s important to prioritize their comfort and ease them into the transition. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways make moving with kids and pets a little bit easier.

Moving with Kids & PetsGet the Kids Involved

Children don’t have much control over their lives, and moving is another example of that. This lack of control can sometimes lead to them acting out. This is why allowing them to get involved can ease the transition. Not only that, it might get them excited about their new home.

When you’re thinking about ways to get them involved, consider their space and belongings and how they can pitch in. For instance, you might have them pack up their room, choose the things they want to donate, and even help clean the crayon off the walls. Allow them to pick the colour of their new room or their own bedspread. This will get them feeling more involved in their new surroundings.

Allow the Kids to Say Goodbye

A child’s home is their safe space, where they can feel comfortable and anticipate their daily routine. This makes them feel at ease. Naturally, they may feel sad to leave it.

Respect their feelings by allowing them to say goodbye to their house. Ask them about their favorite parts of their home, and their least favorite.  If their favorite parts include something that will come with you, like their toys, use those conversations to put them at ease.

Another great tip in helping them transition is to have a goodbye party or plan a last dinner in your house. Encourage your children to take part in those plans to give them their chance to say their goodbyes.

Have the Kids Help With the Pets

Since getting your kids involved with the move can do wonders when it comes to acclimating them to their new home, you might want to have them help you with your pets. This is a win-win: Kids need a job, and your pets need special attention.

Have them pack a special box of all the things your pets will need on their first night at home. Have them spend more time with your pets. Let both your children and pets exercise to work through any feelings of anxiety. This will put both of them at ease. Allow your pets and kids to help each other by having the kids pitch in with their care.

Use Smells to Calm Your Pet

When it comes to guiding your pet through the move, remember to think how they think. Many animals use their nose to explore and learn, so remember to use smells to keep them calm during the move.

Help your pet through packing, traveling, and settling into a new home by keeping their scent and belongings near them. For instance, don’t pack one of their blankets and use that as a similar scent to stay with them so they feel some sense of normalcy while everything changes. Crating can assist in making them feel safe and secure, and blankets covered in their scent and the scent of their family will let them know things will be okay.

Use Positive Reinforcement With Your Pet

Pets respond really well to positive reinforcement. It’s used frequently in training, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use this method in your move. Speak in a friendly, happy voice during the packing process. During your travels to your new home, especially if you’re moving far from your previous home, give them plenty of treats and loves, but respect their space if they need it.

It’s a great idea to prepare your new home for your pet by fixing any safety hazards and setting up a crate or bed for them in a quiet area while they acclimate. Leave the door open so they can make the decision to explore, but don’t force it on them.

Both pets and very young children may have a harder time with a move because it’s harder to explain to them what’s going on and why you’re moving. They may feel connected to their home and reluctant to leave it. Even if your child is okay with the move, it’s still helpful to give them tasks to keep them busy. Many pets go with the flow and don’t have issues with change, but it may still be beneficial to use positive reinforcement. Each family is different, but these tips will make life a little easier when moving the whole family into a new home.

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