Making Moving Easy on the Kids, and You
There are so many things to consider and take care of during a move – the sale, the new home, the inspections, closing costs, moving vans, change of address, change of job – but one thing often overlooked is how the children fit into the big move.
While some kids may relish the thought of a new adventure, many others will feel anxiety and loss. To remedy and curtail the distress, be sure to include them in the planning and the move itself. Begin with a family meeting to discuss the move. Be upfront and upbeat and listen to and address their concerns. While you may not be able to act on their feedback, it still matters.
Planning – Have the kids help you pick a new home, or at least welcome their opinion. Ask them about the front and back yards, their bedroom, and play areas. Point out highlights they might miss – a perfect tree for climbing, sidewalks for bike riding, spaces for veggie gardens, etc. Make sure you know what the new community/neighborhood/schools offer. Get them excited about their new space.
The Goodbye – Throw a little good-bye gathering for some type of finality with friends. Exchange addresses, and if location allows, make arrangements for future get togethers. Make a memory book of pictures, leaves from favorite trees, and pieces of wallpaper or curtains left behind.
The Move – If possible, spread the move over a couple days to ease with the transition. Give your child a job or something to be responsible for, like labeling, keeping packing tape handy, or packing their own “immediate need” suitcase of clothes, toothbrush, and a few favorite toys. If traveling a distance, pack a bag with their favorite books, toys, and easy crafts.
The Arrival – Maintain old friendships but start building new ones. Don’ t let the importance of settling in cause you to neglect your kids’ needs. Help build friendships with play dates, park visits, sports. Do the same for teens – check into teams, youth groups, and job opportunities. Help them and give them the freedom to explore.