As you know, there’s a lot of decision-making involved in moving to a new home. A move may be most confusing to your kids. How do you explain a move to your children? What’s the best approach to keeping your kids happy throughout the moving process? How can you plan ahead, so they feel comfortable with such a big change? Below you’ll find some helpful Dos and Don’ts on how to make a move easier on your children:
Do Listen to your kidsOnce you sit down with your children to announce the move, pay close attention to their reaction. If this is the family’s first move, it will be especially difficult for a child to understand what’s happening. This gives you a chance to describe the first time you relocated, how you felt about the change, and the positive outcome that resulted.
Do Describe the location and build excitementShow your little ones as much as you can about where the family is moving. Children react to visuals, so showing pictures and video of the neighborhood and nearby places of interest can actually make them look forward to moving. If time and budget allow, try to visit and tour the community with them before the big day.
Do Plan family day trips in advanceResearch nearby attractions, such as amusement parks, zoos and museums to visit once you’re all settled. These kid-friendly places provide a great family experience, and can spur excitement in them about their new home and community!
Do Keep your kids connected with their friendsWhether you are relocating a few towns away or halfway across the country, the toughest thing for children to leave behind is their group of friends. Explain to your kids that they will be able to keep in touch with them. If your kids are old enough, video-messaging sites like Skype and social media networks like Facebook are great ways for them to connect with friends.
Do Join community groupsAfter you’ve moved in, check out youth sports teams, clubs and school activities for the children to join. A group setting can quickly give children a social circle and an interest that can take their mind off this big change. As the parent, you need to keep your children involved in activities. If not, children can fall into a rut – missing their circle of friends, staying inactive, and keeping to themselves.
Don't Take the moving process on by yourselfIt may feel like it’s your job to manage every stage of the moving process, but make it a family affair. Taking full control of each activity can cause children to feel ignored. Instead, create games and challenges for things like packing, organizing, and purging old clothes and toys. This will help make the transition smoother and more enjoyable for all. These fun tasks can be a big help for you too!
Don't Plan your child’s room for themMaking your children’s bedroom design plans without their input is a mistake. Give them the freedom to choose paint color, furniture, bedroom arrangements, etc. It’s the perfect way to let them pitch in and make some fun decisions. By keeping these interior choices between you and/or your spouse, your kids own personality can be left out.
While the moving process can seem challenging and confusing for both parents and children, it can be prove to be an important stage of growth for your family. Work together, one box at a time!