Moving to a new home or city is a significant event for the whole family. Career changes, buying and selling a home and establishing yourself in a new community takes time and effort. For kids, moving means leaving everything that is familiar behind. It’s much harder for kids to see the bigger picture or to focus on the positive aspects of the move. Parents need to make sure they make the move a positive experience.
Communicate with your children from the early stages of the move until you’re settled into your new place. Explain why you are moving, where you are moving and what the new town will be like. Answer their questions and listen to their fears. Don’t assume that your children will welcome the move with open arms. Validate their feelings with understanding and compassion. Let them know some of the things you are anxious about too, like missing your friends or starting a new job. Check a moving guide for advice on how to make the move a positive experience for your entire family.
Teenagers often have a harder time leaving their friends, school and other activities while elementary-aged kids might look forward to a new adventure. Regardless of their ages, make it clear that you are a family and families stick together. Give them a few positive things to look forward to, like picking out decor for a new bedroom or visiting local attractions in your new city. Remind young kids that all of their favorite toys, furniture, clothes and other items are coming with when you move.
Give a Preview
Kids thrive on familiarity and routine. Fear of the unknown can cause anxiety, restlessness or acting out with poor behavior. If possible, take your kids to your new location to scout it out. Make it a fun day by visiting all of the local hot spots, checking out the schools and playgrounds or looking at homes for sale. Let your kids have some input on the new home. You and your spouse could preview homes in advance and then show the kids two or three options. Empower your kids by Including them in as many decisions as possible.
Say Positive Goodbyes
When it is time to say goodbye, try to create a positive experience. Throw a party for friends and family to say goodbye or take a trip around town with your kids to bid farewell to some of their favorite places. If you plan on coming back for visits, remind your children that you will see these places again. Help your kids create a memory book with pictures of friends, family and special places that can stay with them forever. Instead of focusing on the sad feelings, steer your kids in a more positive direction by talking about favorite memories and reminding them that they will continue to create memories. A moving guide can provide other helpful hints.
Set Up Kids’ Rooms First
As you find yourself amid the chaos of the move into your new home, make it a priority to arrange the kids’ spaces first. It will give them comfort to be surrounded by familiar items. Make it fun by letting the kids choose new decor, paint colors or other items for their new bedrooms. The rest of the house will fall together in time, but the kids need a safe, comfortable place to start calling their own as soon as possible.
Make the move a positive experience for your children to ensure a smooth transition to a new page in life. Above all, be an understanding and compassionate parent. Consult a moving guide for more creative ideas.
Image by Muffet and licensed through Creative Commons.
Paul Benjamin is a District Manager at EZ Storage, a self storage company. If you’re looking for clean, secure Philadelphia storage units, visit EZMini.com.