How-to Move Across the Country With Toddler Age Children
To say that moving is stressful is a master stroke in understatement. Moving costs, fear of property damage, abandoning the comfort of the familiar…these and other headaches can easily rocket your moving experience from merely “stressful” to “exasperating.” The key to a successful, relatively stress-free move is careful and meticulous planning. A solid moving company can help you navigate the challenging waters of preparing for a move, but there are some things that are beyond even the best moving company’s control. For instance, the kids. The challenge: how to keep your toddlers calm, occupied and happy amidst the chaos of a cross-country move. A veritable forest of excellent articles exist that will share with you details of how to successfully transport your toddler from point “A” to point “B” with minimal hassle, but here are three top considerations for you to keep in mind:
Rule One: Keep Them Occupied
The mantra of doom for parents in any traveling situation is that nightmare phrase: “Are we there yet?” The first utterance of this dread inquiry is, as you likely know, but the first in what will certainly be an endless litany guaranteed to drive even the most patient parent stark mad. The suave Dad or Mom, however, can veer away from this direction before it even starts with just a little bit of forward thinking.
Remember, your little one is not an adult, he can’t patiently pass the time by looking out the window at the landscape or playing his favorite CD. It’s up to Mom and Dad to provide the entertainment. That doesn’t mean that it’s a parent’s duty to take on the role of full-time emcee; but it is definitely necessary to keep your little one occupied and happy, as any reputable parenting journal or magazine will tell you.. Consider using movies, games, toys and other helpful (and easily accessible) do-dads to make the trip more enjoyable for all!
Rule Two: Make Strategic Stops
Remember your college days when you could test your mettle with a round-the-clock, marathon drive to your favorite spring break destination? Well Mom and Dad, those days are over. Your little sweetie has a “no tolerance” policy for that kind of thing. Those little squirms and squeaks will become an all-out thunderstorm if you fail to plan your stops prudently around your toddler’s needs and endurance level. You know your child better than anyone. You know what his or her limits are. Lovingly plan your pit stops and overnight stays with your toddler in mind. This will certainly mean stopping more frequently, stopping longer (to provide for proper wriggle time) and choosing child-friendly hotels or campgrounds.
Rule Three: Make Them A Part Of The Adventure!
Unfortunately, sometimes the hustle and bustle of travel may cause us to treat our little ones more like luggage than people. There is a certain logic to this way of thinking. After all, your toddler can’t carry boxes, or pack, or make phone calls shopping for a good moving company. Mainly, your toddler is something to be carried, buckled-in, transported and cleaned up after. Remember that your little miss or mister is still very much a part of it all, though. Your adventure is his or her adventure, too! Imagine the fun of making your toddler a full-fledged member of your family’s cross-country away team! Playing with maps, talking about upcoming destinations, planning hotel activities, having your toddler pack his or her own little “fun case” for the trip (including his or her own camera)…these strategies can draw your child into the adventure with you, and in the process create some amazing memories for Mom and Dad!
There is no reason why your move need be all fret and no fun. The power of a child to bring smiles and laughter into an otherwise trying situation is nothing short of miraculous. With just a little bit of strategic planning and careful attention, you have the power to transform what could otherwise be an exhausting experience into a comparatively peaceful, stress-free adventure for the whole family.