Moving your family, whether it’s 20 miles away or 400 miles away, can be a tough process but the best way to handle it is by keeping communication open. The kids are going to have a bunch of questions, even though they may not ask right away, or know how to express their fears. And although there may be some challenges, the new experiences you will share during the transition and in the new house can ultimately bring you closer as a family. Here are some things that may help the transition with a new move.
Talk about it
Have a family meeting to let them know you are looking for a new place to live and give them as much information as you can. Answer their questions and don’t sugarcoat things or stretch the truth. And try your hardest to be understanding if their initial reaction is negative because big changes like this can be terrifying for kids at first.
Get them involved
Having them involved might make it seem a little less forced and could even be fun if done the right way. Show them how to pack some of their things and take silly moving selfies along the way. Let the kids know whoever has the silliest selfie pic gets to go for ice cream or their favorite treat. If you aren’t moving too far away, take your kids to see the new house and then spend the rest of the day having fun and becoming familiar with the neighborhood. If you are moving far away, show pictures of the house, go to the computer and show them the activities to do around town for kids, and any other cool little facts that they might love about the area.
Give your kids a print out of the floor plan for their room. They can start brainstorming about how they would want to decorate their new space. This is another way to help get them excited about the move.
Have a surprise going-away party
A going-away party is a great way to ease the transition and create some fun memories. You can invite all of their friends, have pizza, rent movies and have their friends leave little notes about their favorite memories in a keepsake box that they can open when they get to the new house. There might be tears.
If you can afford a small present, have it waiting in the new closet of their new room. Try and give something that you know they will love that will put a smile on their face as soon as they see it.
After move in day
The first thing that should be unpacked is your child’s room. The quicker that they get acclimated and feel comfortable, the easier it will be for you to finish your room. To keep a sense of familiarity, try to stay on the same schedule you had before for bedtime, meals and leisure time.
The new community
Help them get involved in their new school and community by having them sign up for extra-curricular activities. You can also gather pamphlets from local theatres and libraries to find out what goes on in the neighborhood for kids their age.