In the movie business, they say you should never work with children or animals, but if the children and animals are yours, what choice do you have? Come moving day, it is important to remember that any stress you are feeling may be multiplied many times by minds that don't understand what's going on. After all, moving usually means new friends, a new school, and a new set of worries for your children, and a complete change of territory for your pet.
One of the most important things that can help your child during the move is keeping your own stress level down. Kids pick up on parental emotions. If you're apprehensive or nervous, kids will mimic that behavior. Remember that they will have their own concerns about the move, things that would seem inconceivable to an .
Currently Grandma, Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny know where they live and the bogeyman doesn't. By moving you are throwing the whole system out of whack: presents will be misdirected and chocolate eggs may never arrive ever again! So it is important to communicate with your children as much as possible and to maintain a good stress-free vibe around them.
It's best to prepare a child for a move to lessen the shock of all new surroundings, especially if it is a long way away from the previous home. After all, making friends in the playground can be a lot tougher than chatting away over coffee at the new job. At work, people have to pretend to like you, but this is not the case at school.
Some tips to make it easier for children:
- take your child along when you look at houses so they can be involved in the process and can get a full understanding of what exactly is going on
- show them their new school and try to introduce them to their new teacher if possible
- find out about local junior sporting teams and activities; sports clubs are a great way for kids and s to meet like-minded people quickly
- before you move, hold a going-away party for your child; encourage your child to keep contact with his or her old friends while encouraging new friendships
- encourage the children to take part in the moving process as much as possible so they know their things are safe and sound
- once you've selected your new house, show your child where his or her room will be; allow them to personalize the room as well, maybe even a new coat of paint so they will feel at home
- above all else, communicate with your child throughout the process.
The next problem is how to deal with the pets. Attempting to communicate with them on a personal level will generally draw a blank look or a slobbering kiss so it is up to you to make the journey as easy as possible for them. Owners will sometimes notice a change in behaviour in their animal after a move and that is the result of stress. Other symptoms will be much more subtle - just think back to your pet's reaction to new surroundings when you first brought it home.
As the moving date approaches, try to maintain your animal's routine as much as possible, including feeding, exercise and play times. Make sure your pet is wearing updated identification, and that you're carrying some kind of identification for your pet, including recent photos. If your pet escapes at any time during your move, you'll be prepared.
Vets also recommend that if you pack a water supply from the home you're leaving. Changing water sources could cause your pet stomach upset and ultimately dehydration. Keep your pet's food as bland as possible; this isn't the time to experiment with new brands or varieties. Take your pet for a thorough physical exam prior to your move, and make sure you obtain your pet's updated records from your vet.
Obviously, if it is only a short move, the animal can travel with the family in the car (depending on local regulations concerning restraints) and some movers will let dogs travel in trucks. Most vets should be able to help with travel containers which will help calm soothe pets and give them a comfort space, especially if there is a familiar sleeping rug to give it a familiar smell. Make sure they have access to water and food and if the trip is several hours long it will probably be necessary to take them out for a walk at some stage.
If you're planning a cross-country move by air, it will be necessary to check with the airline as to its pet policy. If you're contemplating having your pet travel in the cargo section of the plane, you may want to consider first that because this area is in the belly of the plane, you won't have access to your pet at any time during the flight.
While the cargo area is both heated and pressurized, this area isn't lit, so unless you tranquilize your pet first, the experience is likely to be traumatic. It is best to check with a vet about the effects of air travel on your particular pet and get their advice about what the best tranquilizer may be.
Kids, Pets and Moving
by Hayden Lilienthal
Hayden Lilienthal is a content producer for
Global Estate, the first portal site designed to cater exclusively to real estate. The site includes property listings, news, and advice articles on everything from buying a home to eliminating household pests to using the Internet to find a home.