How To Prepare Your Kids For Moving
Making the Decision
It’s never an easy decision to move when you have kids, but often times it’s for the benefit of the entire family in the long run.
Keep your Child involved in the Entire Moving Process
Once you’ve decided to make the move ensure that you keep your kids apart of the entire process. Let them know as early as possible about moving. For toddlers, keep your explanation clear and simple, you can use a story to explain or even toys to act it out.
Let your kids have a say in your top selection of homes. This makes them feel more like active participants in the house-hunt and the search for a new school. This may also help them to feel more open to the move and less like it’s being forced upon them.
Ask if they have questions and answer them completely and truthfully. Be receptive to both positive and negative reactions, this helps your child to feel understood and listened to. If they have negative feedback ask more questions what makes them feel that way. Work through their concerns and try to provide compromises that they are happy with. If you have Teens, and if it’s feasible, see if they can return for events like prom or homecoming.
Write the moving date in the family calendar and let your kids pack their own things. For younger kids give them boxes and crayons to make it a fun experience. When you pack your toddler’s toys, make sure to explain that you aren’t throwing them away.
Help Your Kids get Familiar with Their New Surroundings
When you found your perfect home make it feel like your kids perfect home as well. Take them around the neighbourhood, show them the parks and all the fun activities they can do at the new location.
Let them plan out the decor of their new room and map out the floor plan of their furniture. Hold off on getting rid of your child’s old bedroom furniture, which may provide a sense of familiarity in the new house. You could also arrange their furniture in a similar way in the new bedroom.
Involve Your Kids in their new School & Community
Sometimes a move requires your kids to change schools. If this is the case talk to their teachers, coaches, and anyone else in their lives to let them know so that they can provide the necessary support. A teacher can then ensure they introduce your child to students, and pair them together or sit them next to a student with similar interests.
If your kids are not in school yet bring them outside to play so other parents within the neighbourhood will know there is a new friend next door. You could even leave a few toys out on the lawn to make it visible when you’re not outside. If you see other parents with young kids introduce yourself and your child.
Have a Going-Away Party
A great way to start the transition is by throwing a fun going away party. Invite all your kids best friends over, to make crafts or T-shirts that they can sign and keep. Get all their friends contact information including addresses if you’re moving far so the kids can be pen pals. Provide self-addressed cards to your kids friends so they can easily start writing to your children.
Make the new Home & Community Exciting yet Familiar
A new move can be scary for children, try to make it exciting, familiar, and comforting. You can play a scavenger hunt and hide a new toy they want at the end in their bedrooms.
Try to get back to old traditions and routines as soon as possible. Eating around the dinner table, pizza night or any other traditions your family normally engages in. Encourage family communication so your kids can comfortably express their feelings around the new school or community.
Stay positive. Don’t compare your old neighbourhood to the new one. The old neighbourhood holds a special place in your child’s heart and, while you may mean well, talking negatively about it can be hurtful and may make them resent your new home and community.
Parents moved with children all the time, and understandably it can be hard for the entire family. If you follow these simple tips it should make the entire process a lot easier on everyone. Remember that your attitude about the new home and the new community will rub off, so it will be easier for your kids to adjust if you’re adjusting well too. Keep the big picture in mind and keep reminding yourself of all the reasons you decided make the move. Happy moving!