Moving with Children

Moving is a stressful time for most, but it’s important to keep in mind how your children feel about such a large change. Having to move is inevitable and unavoidable for some, and packing up yours and your children’s belongings to haul to a new home can add extra tension to an already stressful life event. It doesn’t have to be so bad though! Keep these tips in mind when planning your move with kids. Every seemingly little step can ease that big transition for you and your family.

Make a plan! 

  • When are you going to tell your kids?
  • How are you going to tell them?
  • When should they pack their things?
  • What should they keep or get rid of?

Having a plan in place not only makes your life easier, it allows your kids to know exactly what’s to come. Whether you’re under contract on a home or you’re in the beginning stages of browsing the market, keep your kids in the loop. Whether or not your children have a say in any of the details and decisions, it’s important that they feel like their opinions and concerns matter, so let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to ease the stress for all members of your family.

Carve out some time for a family discussion

Have a seat with all the members of your household and dedicate plenty of time for an open-ended discussion that will allow everyone to feel seen and heard. Encourage your kids to express their excitement, concerns, or opinions in an environment where everyone feels comfortable. 

Explore the reasons for the move

Try to focus on the positive aspects of the move rather than the negative! Avoid phrases like “we’re sick of the area,” or “we don’t like our neighbors.” Be sure to stress the positives of uprooting and finding home in a new location. Try to rephrase your concerns in a positive way, “we could use a change of scenery,” or “I think this will be great for all of us.” 

Make sure your children are involved in the process

Try giving each of your children specific tasks to get them into the headspace of moving. If you already have a new home picked out, have your child research things to do in the area that might interest them. If you’re still in the early stages of the home buying process and you’re not under contract, have a discussion with your children about what they think is most important in a new home or area. Of course, it might not be feasible to take all of their requests into account, but having a conversation with them will make them feel seen and included. 

Assign each of your children the responsibility of preparing and packing up their individual rooms. This is a great opportunity to declutter and donate items that are no longer being used. Your kids know which items are important to them or hold sentimental value. If they pick out those items and pack them away, they’ll have peace of mind knowing that what’s most important meets them in their space. 

If your kids have established friend groups, be sure to help them coordinate their goodbyes and brainstorm some ways to keep in touch with them or see them again in the future. If your kids are older and have their own cell phones, they probably have communication with their friends covered. If you’re moving farther away, try setting a date for the future for your kids to see their friends. This will give them something to look forward to and will help them feel like they aren’t abandoning those relationships. 

A lot of kids and teens that are into sports already have established teams that they’re a part of. Before the move, sit down with your kids and talk to them about their options in your new home or town. If you’re staying close, they may get lucky and get to stick with their team. Moving farther away will probably warrant some research on what the next steps are. Have your kids look into local sports teams, dance schools, or art studios, or be sure that their new school will cater to their already established interests.

Visit the new town before moving

Get your kids excited about the move! Take a road trip with the family to check out your new city, town, neighborhood, or home. Allow them to see where they’re moving to. Are there beaches nearby? Are there any interesting parks or recreational areas? Do some exploring and find out what might interest you and your family. If this isn’t an option, try looking online for the specific interests of your family. You can also find YouTube videos with tours of cities and towns, or even specific neighborhoods. 

 

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