Moving into a new home is never an easy thing — especially for the youngest members of your family. While parents are making big decisions about buying a house, it is critical for kids to feel included in the part process too. Here are a few simple steps to ease into the transition and help make every member of your family feel more comfortable — and even excited — about your upcoming adventure.
A Family Affair: Keeping Your Kids Involved in Your Move
For children, fear of the unknown is one of the biggest factors in stress related to moving. They will be in a new place, surrounded by new people and away from the security of their current social group. The keys to dealing with that fear are keeping the kids involved in the move and helping them get familiar with their new hometown before you actually make the move.
- Start by researching your new neighborhood or city online and allowing your kids to share in that process. Be sure to highlight any kid-friendly activities in the area and look for places where your kids can pursue their favorite hobbies.
- Once you know where you're going to be buying a house, bring your kids for a few scouting trips around the neighborhood. Point out any fun places of interest and be ready to answer any questions your children have about your new neighborhood.
- Tweens and young teens enjoy the feeling of independence, so let them explore some (safe) local places on their own can both generate excitement and make them feel more involved in the process.
- For younger kids, you will naturally want to be more hands-on, but you can still offer the feeling of independence by supervising from the sidelines. Parks and playgrounds are great for this sort of supervised exploration.
- The actual process of packing up your stuff and moving can be especially challenging for young children, who worry that their favorite toys and possessions won't be there when the moving trucks arrive at your new home.
- To minimize that fear, allow young children to participate in packing their things and wait to pack their very favorite toys until you are very close to moving day. Show your children where their rooms will be in your new house so that they know all of their things will still have a place once you move.
- If you're making a long-distance move, then one of the toughest challenges for children (and adults, for that matter) is living far away from family and friends. The good news is that today's technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch.
- Remind your kids that they will still be able to return to visit their friends and that there are plenty of great ways to stay in touch through technology. A going-away party may be a bit tough to pull off when you're also planning a move, but it can be quite beneficial if you can fit it into your schedule.
Perhaps more than anything else, the most important thing is simply to listen to the needs of your children when planning a move. Ask for their feedback, make them feel involved, and look for ways to get them excited about buying a house. It's not an exact science, but it's more than worth the effort — kind of like the rest of parenthood.