A move affects children and adults differently. The average family lives in a house for about five years before buying up as their income allows. Although that may be a short period of time for an adult, five years is a very long time for a child who has grown accustomed to their life in their current house and school. Make sure to be mindful and patient with your child’s concerns and needs and your move should go much more smoothly. Follow these tips to ease the stress on your family.
Children ages 3 to 12
Be very truthful and positive when describing what the move all entails. Respond to their concerns promptly so they will not fear the unknown. Make sure they know that none of their belongings will get lost or left behind during the move, and that they can always come to you if they’re anxious or uncertain about this new situation. Try to get them actively involved in the moving process by letting them help pack (but hold off on their things until last so they can stay as comfortable as possible). Try to keep a normal routine, and encourage your kids to get to know the neighborhood and people. Use these helpful tricks to get your child excited about the move: investigate local youth programs that they would be interested in, use children’s literature to relate to their situation, ask them to name your new house, plan a going-away party and let them invite their friends, create a photo album for them, and let them help out with decorating their new bedroom.
Tell your teens about the moving process early on, so they feel like a respected adult and can be included in the decision making. They will want plenty of time to tell their friends and say their goodbyes if they are changing school districts, so the sooner you discuss moving with them, the better. Listen to their concerns – they will probably deal a lot with making new friends and fitting in their new school. There are many ways to get your teen excited about moving into a new home. You could ask their input while picking out home décor for their new bedroom, create a “moving journal” for them to document the process, have them be the designated photographer for snapping pictures of your old house, and visit their new school with them and research different sports and club opportunities.
Overall, your children will grow into their new environment quickly. Kids are great at adapting. New friends will become great friends, and the house will start to feel more like home every day. Just remember to stay positive and always listen to your children’s concerns and everything will work out just fine!