You have decided to make a big move, but you’re not sure how the process is going to go with your children. You’re worried about how they will handle it, both logistically and emotionally. Millions of people move every year in the United States, so you’re not alone. Here are a few tips to help ease the process and settle into your new home with happy and healthy kids.
Prepare Your Kids
The biggest thing you can do for your kids during a life-changing event like moving is to communicate with them. Explain well ahead of time why you’re moving and the steps that will occur as you prepare to move. Be ready to answer any questions, and spend as much time with your discussion as they need. This will be a bigger conversation if you’re moving out of town than if you’re just changing houses in the same town, because they’ll be moving away from everything they know.
One idea that can help if you’re moving away: give your kids a camera or smartphone, and let them take pictures of your house, your neighborhood, their school, their friends and anything else they want. Use an app or photo book service to create a book of all the photos, and give a copy to each of your kids. They’ll love looking through it in their new home.
Find the Right House
While you can look at many home listings online, a good realtor who can guide you to just the right house is invaluable. They should know all the ins and outs of the local market and be able to answer any of your questions. If you’re not sure who to work with, ask your friends and family for recommendations.
You probably have a good idea of the general area where you want to live, unless you’re moving to a completely new town. In either case, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for red flags that indicate a rougher area of town so you can avoid them:
● A large amount of graffiti
● Barred windows on businesses
● Large groups of people loitering
● Unleashed dogs roaming around
Give Your Kids Some Control
It will also help your kids to involve them in the moving process. Tell them you need their help preparing the house to sell, and let them help pack their things into boxes. As you’re planning your lives in the new house, consider letting them choose their room and the color you will paint the walls. Give them the freedom to arrange their rooms as they unpack their boxes as well. Considerations such as this will help give your kids a sense of security and control when so much else around them is changing and unpredictable.
Build a Routine
Once you are settling into your new home, build a structured routine as quickly as possible. After so much change, your kids need to know what will happen next, and the stability of a routine will be helpful to them. The consistency of familiar family traditions, such as mealtimes and game nights, will be comforting as well. Meet neighborhood families and enroll your kids in school as soon as possible. Find some new favorite hang-out spots for them – local parks, ice cream shops, etc. – that can serve as touchstones in their new lives.
While moving with children can be difficult, following the tips above can make it more bearable. Remember that kids are resilient, and even if tears flow for a while, they are likely to adjust quickly. Moving can be an adventure, so take your kids along for the ride!
Article provided by Alexis Hall – Photo from Pixabay
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