Getting your Kids Ready to Move
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Moving can be difficult for Children. You may have even asked yourself, is moving even that necessary if it's going to cause so much trouble for my child? Children crave stability and moving can disrupt that stability on a deep level whether moving down the street or to another province.
Your child may even show a positive attitude towards moving, then start acting out for seemingly no reason. You may not even know that the root of the problem is the move.
For Children, Excitement can go both ways at the same time - Fear and Joy. Your child may not even understand how they feel and how to put it into words to tell you.
We hope these tips will help you prepare for a smooth and easy transition for your children and their move.
1. Start the conversation early in the process
Let your child know that your family is considering moving to a new home. The sooner you put it in their heads, the sooner they will be able to come to terms with it. Some children may be excited right way at the prospect of a new house, a new room, a new backyard to play in, while others may see a move as a loss and ay need more time to adjust.
2. Ask & answer questions the best you can
Even if the answer is "I'm not sure" or "We'll have to wait and see" at least you're conversing with them and letting them know you’re hearing them.
Encourage them to tell you how they feel, it may be difficult for them to find the words, so try to be patient and if they have trouble ask them questions like "Are you scared to go to a new school?" or "What is your favourite part of the new house?" Broad questions like "How do you feel about moving?" may not be direct enough for them to answer the way they want.
3. Don't over-promise.
Don't tell your child things like they will love their new room or new play area, or that you'll move close to a park. Those are things you may not be able to control and could leave your child disappointed and unhappy with their new home. They may get their hopes up or have an unrealistic idea in their heads that will lead to a breakdown when they realize it isn’t the way they thought.
4. Talk about it more frequently the closer you get
Whether you've only just decided to move, or you've purchased your home, talk about it frequently with your children, let them know what you like about the new home, what you hope they'll like about their new home. Let them share they’re ideas and thoughts on the home, bring it up throughout the days leading up. Consider doing a count down to moving day with
5. Take them to view the home.
With Covid Protocol many Realtors are stating that children are not allowed at showings due to high touch and safety rules. This is to keep everyone safe. But once you've purchased the house, ask if you can take the children with you on your walkthroughs, show them where their new bedroom will be
6. Get them involved
Let your kids choose whatever you're comfortable with. It could be paint colour, theme for room, layout. If children feel like they have control over a situation, it may help them adjust to the change.
7. Reassure them
If your child is changing schools let them know they’ll still be able to see their old friends or talk to them on the phone, depending on how far you’re moving. If you’re moving far from family let your child know you’ll still be able to see them, and they’ll always be there for them. Research what is in your new area and show your child what will be there. Maybe there’s a pool a few blocks down or an indoor playground in the next town.
8. Be honest with them
If you’re stressed out or nervous about the move, let your child know they aren’t alone. Letting your child know you have similar feelings will make them feel understood. If you’re not at your best explain to them that you’re having a hard time and don’t mean to be short with them. Make sure you use words they’ll understand easily.
9. Let them help pack
Have them help with age-appropriate tasks, like packing up their room or other areas in the home.
It may not be best to have them around on moving day, depending on age. All the activity of moving may overwhelm them and cause more stress for you and them. Instead, send them out for a special treat or activity with a family member or friend to help them relax and keep them safe. Let your child know in advance what they will be doing that day and what you will be doing that day
10. Home isn't a place, it's a feeling
Let them know that wherever your family chooses to live, from down the road to across the country, you'll be together and that's what truly matters.