How to Prepare Your Child for a Move

Moving is a huge change that’s noted as one of the most stressful life events to endure.  For adults, we figure out how to handle stress, no matter how difficult, and realize we’ll eventually adjust to our circumstances.  However, for kids, moving seems as bad as the appearance of zombies, destroying their happy lives.  Of course that sounds silly, but children get scared when presented with new situations and may not hold the tools to cope and adjust on their own.  Your mission – which you must choose to accept – is to calm their fears and prepare them for the move using these pointers.

Pick a Timeframe

If at all possible try to schedule your move between school years, so your kids can start in September at their new school.  Since everyone is creating a new beginning, they won’t feel the focus is so much on the “new kid.”  Figure out your options, timetable and the market outlook and how your family will adjust.  Kids Health suggests that some kids may prefer mid-year moves, so that they “can meet new kids right away.”

Talk to Your Children

Keep the lines of communication open between you and your children.  Engage in age-appropriate discussions, asking them about their worries but providing enough information for their concerns to lessen while offering them assurances.  Focus on what will remain the same like the fact that you’re in this adventure together, says Parents .  If they want to get angry or cry, Parents continues, allow them to express themselves and vent their frustrations.  Take a positive attitude and emphasize the good things yet to come.

Get Acquainted with Your New Neighborhood and Schools

A fun visit to your new neighborhood may spark interest in your child.  Discover together where the cool playgrounds are, where the nearest beach or community pool is and where libraries are located.  Make a date to eat at a new favorite restaurant after your move.  It also helps to introduce them to their new school and arrange for a tour.  You may even consider enrolling your child in local activities through school or the community, suggests HGTV, to meet other kids – and parents, too! If you currently live faraway, you may investigate places with your children online or enlist your agent to send pictures.

Take a Trip to Your New Home

Most importantly, bring your children to their new home, showing them where the bathroom is, where their toys will go, and especially their proposed bedrooms.  When you start officially moving in, it’s a good idea to set up their bedrooms first and arrange their belongings, so they’re comfortable, entertained and can acclimate to their new environment.

Get Kids Involved

Although it’s ultimately not your children’s decision to move, you can make them part of the process by including their input.  For instance, when you visit your potential house, have them pick out their bedrooms.  Have them help you pack and decide what toys they want to keep out.  Ask them what they think of the houses you visit.  Also, HGTV says to give them advance notice about moving day so they’re aware and prepared.

Throw a Party

One way to celebrate your move with your kids and maintain their friendships is to host a going-away party, suggests HGTV.  Keep it simple as a way to say goodbye and exchange contact information.  This is especially a good idea for those relocating long distance.  Bring a camera for group photos with their friends when they’re feeling homesick.