Many children feel most comfortable when they can depend upon a familiar routine: waking up and going to school, doing their homework, and playing with their friends. This certainty promotes a sense of safety. A big move, however, can quickly change all that.
Unfortunately, moving is sometimes an inevitable part of family life. Whether your family is starting fresh in a house just up the street or in a new city altogether, your children might dread the thought of leaving behind what they know so well. Not only must they say good-bye to their friends; they also must be ready to adjust to a whole new environment. Fortunately, we have some tips for making this process smoother both for you and the kids. Read on to learn more.
How to Make The Process of Moving With Your Children Easier?
Have a family meeting
Children are surprisingly good at taking in important information, so you should not be afraid to tell them just as it is. Once you decide to move or receive a new job offer in a different city, call a family meeting. Create a lively environment, have a pizza dinner, or include their favorite snack or meal during the meeting.
Be clear and informal in your explanation of the reason for moving. Encourage them to share their feelings and views on the pending move. A personal experience with moving from you, told with a tinge of comedy, can allay any fears your children might have.
Retain an element of familiarity
Remember, children long for what they know best. With everything about the new house or town unfamiliar, children might struggle with settling into the new environment.
To ease them through the transition, retain a sense of familiarity by carrying the family rituals, traditions, furniture, and even pets into the new home. Rituals such as family games, movie nights, and favorite meals can reduce stress and show your children that you are still the same family you have always been. All that has changed is the environment.
Plan the move with your children
Moving is an arduous undertaking that requires a lot of planning. Between finding the right house, working with a property finder, clearing your desk at the office, and packing, you also need to search for the best moving company to ensure that your valuables arrive safely to the new location. Through all this chaos, your children might feel as though their concerns have gone ignored.
Involve children, whenever possible, in the moving process. From packing to yard sales and redecorating the new house, children will feel comfortable settling in a new place if they feel that they have some control over the situation.
Involve the children in selecting a house
Giving your children a say in the moving process can help make the transition period more bearable for them. If time and the children’s age permit, you should consider seeking their input in selecting the new house. The trick is for you to narrow down the house choices before bringing the children into the plan. Give them photos, virtual tours, or where possible, let them tag along when you’re going for the property viewings. Seek for their feedback on the houses.
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Additionally, also consider visiting the new school, shops, sports fields, parks with your children before moving. They will be mentally prepared, and in some cases, anxious to move into the new neighborhood.
Give them closure before moving out
Some children might associate moving with fear and uncertainty. The thought of leaving somewhere they have called home for so long and saying goodbye to friends at school can be especially terrifying. Therefore, give your children a sense of closure by organizing a good-bye party in the old house just before moving out. Let them invite their friends and neighbors over and exchange mementos. Before leaving on that final day, walk through the rooms as a family, and bid the house farewell.
Establish new friends in the new neighborhood
Organizing a welcoming party is a great way to help your children make new friends. You can also take them to the local recreational center, the park, or the library. Children can easily socialize in these settings and make new friends in the new neighborhood.
New home, new routines
Even as you seek to retain old family routines from the previous home, strive to establish new ones to help the children settle in the new house. From mealtimes to games, these routines can also be incorporated into the old ones to ease the transition.
Have all helping hands on deck
From the moving company to family members and friends, you’ll need all the help you can get when moving with children. Some moving companies have children entertainment packages and can also help with packing. Friends and family members can help with packing as well and watching over the children.
Moving can be an emotionally trying experience, especially for children. Without proper preparation, your children can feel emotionally disorientated, leading to difficulties socializing with other children in the new school or neighborhood. Involving the children throughout the process will make the transition so much more bearable for them.