There are many reasons a family can decide it’s time to find a new place to live. Regardless of the circumstances of the move, exposing young children to such a large change can be challenging. Not only will they leave the home they’ve known for an extended period of time, but they will have to deal with possibly moving schools, and having to meet new friends. To help you navigate this difficult but often beneficial transition, here are some ways to make moving easier with kids.
Prepare them for the move. When you decide it’s time to start looking for houses, let your children know that you are planning to move and why you think it’s a good idea for your family. Expect some negative reactions at first. Kids can become attached to their surroundings, even if they aren’t in the best of circumstances. As often as possible, try to give them a heads up about ay changes that are coming in the next couple of months.
Point out the positives. Does your new place have a park nearby? Are there lots of spaces where kids can play? Emphasizing the positive aspects of a new space can help kids feel excited and less likely to miss home. Try to explain to your child all of the reasons you want to move and feel like the move is what is best for your family.
Create a safe space. Everyone needs their own space. Allow your child to have some freedom and input into the decoration of their new room. Make their room one of the first rooms you unpack so they can retreat there while you finish up the rest of the house.
Make changes slowly. For children, moving schools can be difficult, especially during the school year. If you can slow the change down by allowing your child to remain in their old school until the year’s end, try to make it possible. If your child had friends in their old neighborhood, invite them over for a sleepover. Encourage your child that even though they will be going to new places, they are sure to make lots of new friends too!
Start fresh. A kid’s room can become filled to the brim with more toys and clutter than necessary. Use moving as an opportunity to clear closets, drawers, and toy bins of unused or outgrown items. By bringing along only the things that your child really uses, you’ll cut down on your moving workload as well as giving your child a fresh and clean start in their new room.
House hunt together. Investigating a new place together is always fun! Bring the kids along when you go to check out a property. They will enjoy claiming rooms as their own or thinking up all of the fun things they can do in the big play room. Discuss the pros and cons of each house and why you think the move will be good for your family.
Get a sitter for the move. Moving Day can be stressful for adults and children alike. Let your little ones hang out with grandparents or a sitter on moving day while you do the heavy lifting. Allow them to come into their new space with it being as organized as possible.This is also a safer option if you have small kids that could easily get hurt by moving furniture.
Scrapbook memories. To help your children remember their old home, create a scrapbook of memories shared there. This will help kids to remember all of the special moments shared in their old house and ease the feelings of loss. .
Get to know the neighborhood. Go for a walk in your new neighborhood to get acquainted with your new surroundings. Visit a local park and if possible, and encourage your child to mingle with other neighborhood kids.
Ease into it. Moving is hard and getting accustomed to a new place with a new schedule can be too. Be prepared to deal with some complaining and negativity as your children adjust to their new surroundings and adapt to the recent changes. Within a few weeks, they should be feeling more at home and more positive about their new home in general.
Make it your own. Foster enthusiasm about the new place by adding a pop of your family’s personality to each room. Get pictures printed and hang them on the walls or plant flowers in the yard. Adding personal touches can make a place feel more homey to parents and kids alike!
Moving can be difficult, especially when young children are involved. They can feel emotionally attached to old memories, friends, and places around their old neighborhood. However, a move into a new and positive environment is always good for children. In time, they will become familiar and begin to put down roots in their new home!
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