Moving brings a range of emotions for parents and kids alike. The excitement of the upcoming adventure collides with sadness and even apprehension associated with saying goodbye to familiar surroundings, your comfortable home, and close friends. Helping your child manage these feelings is important as you navigate the moving process and adjust to your new world. Follow these tips to make moving easier on your kids.
Communicate Throughout the Process
A successful transition requires ongoing and frequent communication. Tell your children about your move as soon as your plans are finalized. Explain why you’re moving and highlight the advantages of the new area. Perhaps your new house has a great outdoor space or your neighborhood has amenities like a pool. Focus on the positive during your initial conversation to generate excitement about the move.
However, also keep in mind that your kids are going to have questions and concerns about saying goodbye to their familiar life. To ease their anxiety, be receptive to their questions. They might wonder what their new city has to offer, how they’ll make new friends, and what the new school will be like. Answer honestly and openly. Also, the Internet to your advantage. Help your kids learn more about your new area by visiting the school’s website, checking out local parks and playgrounds, and exploring what kid-friendly attractions exist in your new city.
Visit Before Your Move
If possible, visit your new area before moving day. When you do, the new city, neighborhood, and home becomes more familiar and less scary. Involve school-aged children in the house-hunting process. Allow them to tour listings with you and choose their room. When you’re visiting, see if the school is available for a tour. Visit a park near your new home or a popular local restaurant, or explore the city’s downtown. This trip can generate excitement about their new city, which can help your kids prepare for moving day.
Plan Your New Home
Whether you’re renting or buying, your new home will be a source of comfort and familiarity as your kids adapt to their new area. So, you want to prepare to make your home as welcoming as possible. Before the move, identify what you might need in your new home and purchase it ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling when you move in. For example, your new kitchen island might be the perfect spot to add a hook-on high chair for your baby or toddler. Consider the home’s layout to make sure it’s a play-friendly space for youngsters. Invest in a play fence to create a safe play space for a home with an open floor plan. By preparing your new home now for safe play, it will be ready for kids to enjoy as soon as you move in.
Make a Bucket List
You’ve told the kids about the move, visited your new town, and chosen a home. Now, help kids get excited about their new home by making a bucket list of what you can do when you arrive. Use your visit and Internet research as inspiration as you create a list of places you want to visit, activities you want to try, and restaurants you want to enjoy. During those first few months in your new town, when you’re still familiarizing yourself with the area and meeting new people, use this bucket list to keep you busy and allow you to connect with your new area.
As your family prepares for a move, recognize that your children will experience an array of emotions. Help them manage their feelings and engage with their new city with open communication and exploration of the new area, either in person or virtually.