If there is anything that’s true of kids 100% of the time is that they love consistency. When it comes to changing their whole lives, in the form of where they live, this fact can become problematic. If you plan on moving anytime soon and have kids, especially younger kids, consider the following tips:
Be Sure to Let Them Know What is Happening
Before you begin packing or anything like that, let kids know what is coming. Be prepared for them to react less than enthusiastically. Keep in mind, kids get attached to their living space, memories are associated with every square foot, so if they push back some against you on the move, don’t panic. They will adjust, but don’t expect an instant acceptance. If you can find a book on moving you can read to them, it might help them visualize what’s going to happen.
Make It Fun
If you are upgrading your living situation, such as getting a pool, or meeting new kids in the neighborhood, be sure to tell your kids about these upgrades. Make it seem fun. Make it seem like an adventure. Think like your kid and be sure to “advertise” your new place and all its benefits.
Commemorate Your Current Dwelling
Put together a memory book of your current place before you begin packing up. Allow your kids to include their most special memories. If they loved climbing a specific tree in the yard, take a photo of it, grab one of its leaves to keep, laminate it so it will stay nice. This book can go along with you to your new place, and give them something tangible to hold when they feel sad about leaving it behind.
Make Sure They Understand They Don’t Have to Leave Any Possessions Behind
Most kids have precious possessions. Make sure your kids understand that these possessions are going right along with them to your new house. Make sure they understand they also don’t have to leave friends, even if they are moving away from them. They can still see them. Assure them you can meet and let them spend time with their friends and make sure you follow through. This is, of course, unless you are moving too far away from your current location.
Let Them Help, Make Them Feel Involved
No, you can’t leave the total job of packing or choosing a house to your kids, but if possible, make them feel a part of the process. Give them the task of boxing up the Tupperware or their stuffed animals, for example, or allow them to go on visits with you to see potential homes. The idea is to make them feel they have a say and a part in the whole process of moving.
Promote the Moving Process
When it finally comes time to move, make the process as fun as possible. If you use a moving company or rent a truck, let them see the big truck that will carry all their belongings to your new home. Of course, you might not be able to actually let them help you, at least let them hang around for part of the time.
Understand It Will Take Time
Know that the adjustment process will take time. Your kids will have to create new favorite places and make friends within your new neighborhood. Help them out when you get settled. Walk around and introduce yourself. Ask neighborhood kids over so hopefully you can encourage some friendships to develop. Remember, it will get better, your kids will adjust and will end up loving your new place just as much as the old one. It just takes time.