For kids, moving can be stressful. It is important to talk openly with them about the move and to listen to any concerns they may have. You can do this by having family meetings and by letting them help with the packing process.
The big adult things to focus on like homeowner warranty coverage or homeowners association fees make it stressful enough when you move. Take the time to involve your kids and let them know they have a say in where they are going too.
It is also important to keep your routines consistent. This will help the kids feel at home.
1. Make the move fun.
While it may seem like a cliché, making the move fun can really help your kids adjust to their new home. It can be as simple as giving them a stack of boxes to decorate with coloured markers and stickers.
Show them all that their new hometown has to offer, especially if it’s close to family attractions and outdoor activities. Take them to visit their new daycare or school before moving so they can meet some of the children they’ll be going to class with and have a familiar face on their first day.
2. Make the move age-appropriate.
Kids don’t understand the reasons for a move, but they can be upset about leaving friends and familiar surroundings. Talk to your children about their feelings and emphasize that everyone feels sad or worried at times during a move.
Letting kids tag along on home tours and browsing realtor websites gives them a sense of control and ownership of the new place. They can help decide on a paint color for their room or choose what to do with the backyard.
Before you move, take your kids to their new neighborhood and show them around the school, park, local ice cream shop, etc.
3. Make the move a family affair.
Kids may not always be as excited about the move as their parents, but a little planning can help them feel like they’re part of the process. Talk with them in an age-appropriate way about the reasons for the move and explain that they’ll get to use their own room in the new house.
Prior to moving, research family-friendly activities in the new area. Whether it’s a trip to the local apple or strawberry farm or an outing to a nearby water park, cultivating positive experiences can make the move easier for kids.
4. Make the move easy.
The best way to make a move easier for your kids is by keeping their routine the same. This means putting them to bed at the same time each night and feeding them at the same times. This may mean taking a little longer to get the house ready
but a well-rested, happy child is worth it.
Be honest with your kids about the move in age-appropriate language. Tell them why you are moving and what the benefits are, such as a bigger yard for playing or a closer school.
5. Make the move last as long as possible.
For kids who thrive on routine, establishing consistency is a must. Keeping their schedule the same and making sure to maintain daily tasks can help ease their anxiety during the move.
Talk to your child often and be patient with them. It may be hard for them to understand what is happening and why, especially if they are very young. Explain things in a way they will understand, and use visual aids like a calendar to help them keep track of the schedule.
Make one last trip to their favorite places in town before you start packing. This will help them say goodbye to friends and remind them that they will see them again soon.
6. Make the move safe.
Moving is always a stressful process for parents, but it’s especially difficult for kids. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the move is safe for everyone involved.
That means ensuring that all weapons are empty before moving them and taking steps to keep children out of areas they shouldn’t be in (like the empty safe). Also, if you have to move a pet cage or aquarium, make sure it’s completely dry and that all animals are out before doing so.
It’s also a good idea to leave yourself a clear pathway both inside and outside the home so that you don’t trip or fall. Finally, don’t forget to eat and drink enough water.
7. Make the move fun.
Moving can be stressful for the whole family, but kids are especially sensitive to the upheaval. They may not know what to expect and they feel powerless, worried that they’ll lose touch with friends or miss their old school.
If possible, bring your children to open houses before you move. This will make them feel like they have a say in the move and that they’re part of the decision-making process.
Subscribe to or pick up the town paper and do a little research with your kids on fun things to do in your new hometown. Making a few connections with local friends before you move can also help the transition.