How to Help Your Kids Adjust After Moving
Moving is difficult. Whether you’re moving across town or relocating to another state, it’s never an easy process. When taking an already difficult situation and adding children, it becomes increasingly more complicated. Although moving will probably never be easy, here are seven tips to help your children adjust after moving.
1. Prepare before the move.
If you’re moving, it’s probably because of an adults-only decision. Most likely someone has gotten a new job or there is some other substantial reason that compels you to move. It’s possible that you didn’t sit down with your children and ask them their opinion about whether or not you should move. This will probably cause negative feelings regarding the move, particularly for older children and teens.
Although it may not be appropriate for you to ask your children their opinion about moving, you can prepare them for what lies ahead. Tell them all the information that you know. Let them help you choose a new house, their bedrooms, and their new decor. Take them to the new school they will attend. If you can’t take a tour of the school, walk around the building and check out the playground.
Have a plan for communication and contact with the loved ones and friends that will be left behind when you move. If possible, start implementing that plan before you even move to help establish it as part of your schedule.
If you are selling your existing home before you move, check out these tips for keeping your home show-ready.
2. Allow them to grieve.
When you get to your new home, it’s very possible that your children are going to be unhappy. They will miss their old home, friends, school, etc. It’s important that you allow them to grieve the loss of all those things. Let them feel and express their feelings. Over time, your children will adjust to the move.
3. Stick to the schedule.
One of the best ways to help your children adapt to a move is to keep to your usual schedule. This can be tricky for families that are very involved in activities. However, getting your children involved in the sports or activities that they love will help them meet others with similar interests. It’s important that, before you move, you have a good idea about where your children will go to stay involved with their favorite activities. Then, once you have arrived, get your children involved as soon as they feel like they’re ready.
Otherwise, make sure to keep morning and evening schedules the same. Remember how nuts everyone is around Daylight Savings Time where you have to change everything by one hour? Imagine what that would be like if you bounced around in time moving forward one day and back the other. Do yourself a favor and keep on track with your schedule.
4. Include them in decisions.
Particularly if your children weren’t involved in your decision to move, it’s important to include your children in the decision making. Let them choose how to decorate their rooms. They can decide on furniture, rugs, window coverings, furniture placement, etc. Just let them have it. By making decisions, your children will feel a little more in control of this situation, and that will help them adapt.
One woman shared that, when she moved, she tried to engage her daughter in decision making. She let her pick the rug and drapes, but her daughter really didn’t care about those things. Finally, the woman and her husband let their daughter pick a family pet--a fish. She was elated! It gave her a positive for the new house, and she was given a large decision to make for everyone. It really helped empower their daughter and allow her to positively process the move.
5. Unpack and decorate your kids’ rooms first.
No one likes living in a bare room. Whether your kids are having a tough time with the move or not, take care of their rooms first. Get everything painted, decorated, and in place before you move on to other rooms in the house.
6. Explore your new town together.
To kids, there are a lot of negatives that come with a move to a new house. Take the time to explore the area with your children. Play tourists and find out about the best things that your town has to offer. Make your exploration a mix of sites and practical locations. (“Hey, look! Here’s our new library! Let’s go get our new cards.”) At the end of the day, have your kids choose the special local restaurant where you’ll eat dinner.
7. Help your child keep in contact with friends.
Remember how you told your kids you were going to keep in contact with the loved ones and friends that you moved away from? Now, you have to do it. If you already started contacting people as a part of your regular schedule before you moved, it shouldn’t be as big of a challenge. Stick with your plan to keep in contact with people. If your child is particularly missing a certain person, take the time to help them connect. By allowing your child to talk to the people he or she misses, you’re helping ease the pain of the move.
Let Us Help
Contact Ramseier Realty Group if you’re thinking of moving to or within the St. Joseph, MO area. Our team of professional realtors are ready to help you find your dream home. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 816.262.8077!