Do you have an upcoming move on the horizon? Or maybe you’re thinking about selling your home but haven’t put it on the market yet? Regardless of when you plan to move, there’s one thing we can all agree on: moving is a stressful, exciting time in your life. But what about the kids? Are they excited to move? More often than not, children feel powerless when it comes to moving. There’s a lot of unknowns running through their heads. So how can you make your next move less stressful for the kids? Keep in mind, they usually don’t have any input on the decision to move, but you can give them input in other ways.
If you already have a location in mind – whether it’s across town or in another country – take your kids for an adventure in the new spot. Find some kid-friendly parks, restaurants, and other activities that can make the move feel a bit more exciting. This will help them feel a bit more “at ease” with the idea of moving to a completely new place.
Whenever possible, get your children excited about their new rooms. Bring home paint swatches and let them pick a color they love. Visit home décor stores and show them what kind of bedding and/or décor they can choose. Turn their new bedrooms into a fun art project where they can actually get involved and be part of the process. Most kids love the idea of having their own space.
We know a lot goes into the process of moving – from packing to scheduling movers to loading up the truck. Get your kids involved in the process and give them special jobs they’re responsible for – like handing out drinks to the movers or packing up the cutlery. They’ll love being part of the process and feel a bit more included in the huge decision you’ve made to move.
Your kids probably have a few favorite spots they’ve really enjoyed over the years. Spend a day visiting your old favorite spots – the park down the street, the indoor playground near your home, wherever they’ve made memories. Pack a picnic or go to an old favorite restaurant and spend the day out and about saying goodbye to these special places before you move.
If possible, organize some type of get-together or party to say goodbye to their friends. Saying goodbye to friends is one of the hardest parts of moving for kids. If they’re younger, work with the other parents to create 5 or so pre-addressed envelopes for each friend so your kids can easily write back and forth to them. They’ll love the idea of being pen pals!
Kids are bound to have their own worries surrounding the move. Try to keep the lines of communication as open as possible so they can be honest with you when they’re feeling a bit upset. Are they going to miss their friends? Are they worried they won’t meet new friends at their new school? Talk about the way they’re feeling and let them know you’re there when they need you.
For those with kids, moving to a new home can bring up various concerns for parents. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions/answers to ease your mind a bit.
Question: How can I help my younger child adjust to sleeping in their new room?
Answer: Your child is likely feeling a bit anxious. It’s a big change and a new environment that’s unfamiliar. Unpack his or her favorite things as soon as they arrive to the new home. This will help them feel a bit more comfortable. Take some time to point out what’s better about their new room compared to their old room. Lastly, make sure they know the way to the bathroom and light switches. These little things can make the room feel a lot less scary at night.
Question: How should I prep my children to attend a new school?
Answer: Keep any talk about the new school positive. Switching schools can be incredibly nerve-racking for children. If possible, get a class list from the school office and try to arrange some playdates before the first day of school. This will break the ice a bit. If that’s not possible, try to volunteer at the school once in a while. This will help you meet other parents to arrange some playdates. You can also include a tour of the school when you’re taking your kids on an adventure in the new area.
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