Moving can be difficult for kids, and even more difficult for parents, so here are some tips to make the transition to a new home easier on everybody.
Show Your Child Your New Home Online
Get your child prepared for the move by showing him or her photos or videos of new homes like yours online. You can also use Google Earth to explore your new neighborhood before you move. Get your child used to the idea of moving to a new home.
Do A Virtual Walkthrough
If your new home has a virtual walkthrough, let your child play around with that on the computer. You can also visit this page for ideas on new home layouts and what’s available in your area. You could even physically take your child to a new home listing and do a live walkthrough.
Plan Social Activities For The Family
Plan social activities for the whole family in your new community prior to the move (as long as it’s within driving distance). This will help your child become accustomed to the new surroundings. It also helps your child invest emotionally in the new place. Children are often bound by routine. They like the familiar, and if you take that away from them, they get upset. Introducing a new “familiar” into their lives before you take away the old one helps ease the transition.
Take Pictures Of Your Old Home With Your Child
Let your child take pictures of his or her room and favorite places in your old home. These will become keepsakes and mementos of your house. It means a lot to your child.
Throw A Farewell Party
Throw a farewell party if you’ll be moving out of the neighborhood – especially if you’re moving out of state. Your child should be given the opportunity to collect names and phone numbers of friends so that he or she can stay in contact with them.
Let Your Child Have Emotions
A lot of parents make an epic mistake by telling their child, in effect, “get over it.” This is probably the worst thing you could say to a child. Why? Because it invalidates his or her emotions. When your child feels upset about the move, it’s important to acknowledge that feeling and discuss it with your child in terms he or she can understand.
For example, a child might feel angry. Anger is an emotion that is representative of the idea that an injustice has been committed. Now, children won’t understand it in these terms, but you can at least acknowledge the anger and act on the premise that he or she feels that it’s unfair that you’re making the family move.
Then, follow it up with an explanation – the real reason – why you’re moving. Maybe you need to move because of a job relocation. Maybe you can’t afford the home you’re in. Maybe you’re moving into a bigger house so that there’s more room for your child to play.
You might be surprised by your child’s reaction – children are smart and they respond to reasons in ways many adults don’t.
Christopher Murphy occupies a role as a relocation facilitator. He is always happy to share his suggestions and insights with an online audience. You can find his thoughts on a diverse range of different website.