Moving anywhere is always a hassle. But add a new city and kids to the equation and the move becomes exponentially more challenging. Children thrive on routine and familiarity. Before committing, it’s a good idea to weigh out the pros and cons of such a move, and whether it is in your family’s best interest. Children of different ages require different approaches for moving day. When moving to Denver (or anywhere) with your kids, it’s important to take time to prepare and nurture them before taking the plunge.
Discuss the Move with Your Kids
Even if you have misgivings about moving, always present the move in a positive light. Kids take their cues from their parents. Preparing children emotionally and mentally based on their age is key.
Giving age-appropriate information about the move ASAP helps. Prep for the verbal protests, and don’t take it personally, but completely and fully respond to questions. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Keeping their age in mind, involve kids in planning, so they don’t feel the move is forced on them.
For example, run some neighborhoods by your child to make them feel like they’ve had a hand in choosing the new home. Use Google Earth to see photos of the new place, neighborhood, schools, and parks for distant moves. Many realtors offer interior photos of a home. If they don’t, ask them to take photos of every room and the exterior. Have them send you the pics.
Sell them on some of the amenities—if you’re moving to South Park Hill, for example, tell your kids about how they can go see the animals at the Denver Zoo every weekend. If your kids are outdoorsy, take them to the trails or out kayaking at Washington Park before you move into the area. There are plenty of fun activities in their new neighborhood that they will love: make sure to tell them all about them.
Preparing Your Toddler for a Move to Denver
Kids five and younger may be the easiest to prepare when moving to Denver. After all, they have a reduced understanding of forthcoming changes, and the younger the child the more adaptable they are. Still, no matter the age, children are very perceptive. There are still some tips to follow to help ease their transition:
- Provide clear and simple explanations of what’s going on
- Act out a story using toys to explain the relocation
- Reassure your child you’re not throwing away their toys or anything—the boxes are just temporary home
- If your new place is empty and close by, take a few of their things over every time before the move
- Take a walk around the neighborhood and meet the new neighbors to acclimate your kids
- Avoid other big changes, such as toilet training, until your child is used to the new place
- On moving day, strongly consider your toddler stay with a babysitter, especially if your child has special developmental or age needs
Preparing Your Preschoolers for a Move to Denver
Preschoolers are generally a bit more aware about change than their younger counterparts—and need to know everything about everything. While they don’t need to be privy to every detail, you may have to give them more information and turn the move into more of a game to keep them engaged.
- Tell your child before it’s obvious you’re moving—show them the new house and packing preparations well ahead of time
- Reassure them that you’re taking everyone (including pets) and everything from their room to the new place
- Hype them up about the exciting new changes coming their way: a bigger room, family room, yard, treehouse, the ability to walk to school, or proximity to attractions like the Denver Zoo or Elitch Gardens water park if they’re fans
- They’re going to need some distractions—go ahead and let them draw on the boxes and such if it makes them happy
- Avoid other big changes, such as learning how to ride a bicycle, until your child has acclimated to the move
- On moving day, strongly consider your preschooler stay with a babysitter
Preparing Your School-Age Kids for a Move to Denver
By the time your kids are school-age, they are more invested in their school and community. Uprooting them from friends, classmates, and beloved teachers is difficult, and requires additional empathy on your part. This is the trickiest age to move kids to Denver (or anywhere).
Stay empathetic to their emotional distress, and try not to take anything they say personally. It’s ok for them to miss their old life—make sure they know you understand. One example of empathizing is occasionally dropping an “I’m really going to miss our neighbors.” Make visits back to the old neighborhood for pre-arranged play dates if possible.
If they haven’t already done so, have your kids and their friends exchange phone numbers. Give them a chance to say goodbye to their friends and teachers to get closure. Don’t have the time yourself? An after-school babysitter can help facilitate these goodbyes.
Get kids involved in the moving process. This includes having your school-age kids packing their belongings and selling or donating items they no longer want or need. Let them help out at a garage or yard sale. This way they feel ownership in the move, and not like they’re being dragged away from their life.
Make a Plan for Moving Week
No matter how prepared you are, moving week is always going to be chaotic—there’s no getting around it. Plan ahead for what your kids will do while you’re focusing on the logistics. Expect the unexpected: things will take longer than they “should,” and that’s ok. If there’s truly too much going on, or if your kids aren’t of an age to be a help during the move, then consider hiring a babysitter so you can put your full attention to the challenge at hand.
Once You’ve Settled Into Denver, It’s Time To Unwind—You’ve Earned It!
With any luck, moving day will be over before you know it! Now that you’re done moving it’s time to dive into Denver with your kids and get to know the city—and celebrate! Even if there are still some boxes left to unpack, plan a weekend shortly after you move to go out and see the town: maybe a day at City Park, the Denver Aquarium, or a Broncos game. Get a babysitter who knows the area to show the kids even more exciting local spots—or to watch them while you have an adult night doing the same.
A reputable babysitter service provider such as Nanno can find you a sitter anytime, anywhere. Their sitters are located all over the United States, so there’s sure to be someone to help you out no matter where you are. Nanno rigorously vets all their nannies/sitters and takes great care to match sitters to your exact specifications.
Nanno can help you find the perfect babysitter, whether for a last-minute emergency or a regular, ongoing engagement. Take some guilt-free time for yourself or for you and your partner knowing that your children are in capable, trustworthy hands. Find a trusted babysitter in Denver—or almost anywhere—on demand. Download the Nanno app today!