Moving can be very stressful on families. As parents, you naturally have to deal with the actual process of moving, from buying a new home and packing up your old one to adjusting to new surroundings and all the complicated steps in between.
But even with all this squarely on the parents’ shoulders, a move is often hardest on the kids. Children are very adaptable, but they also don’t always like change, at least at first. And that means that one of the biggest struggles of moving to a new home, particularly if it’s in a new town, is helping the children adjust.
You may meet some resistance as you start talking to your kids about moving. But it’s probably a good idea anyway. Indeed, Parents.com wrote about how to make a move a little bit smoother with kids in the family, and the first two tips were to “get them ready” and “allow their angst.” That basically means you need to suck it up! Kids can be afraid of change, but as soon as you know that moving is really going to happen, you should loop them in on the process. Give them time to process, express their feelings, and begin to adjust. It’s not the easiest way to deal with things, but it’s fair for your little ones.
Visit Before You Move
Typically, kids are more uneasy about the unknown than they are about change in general. Thus, you would do well to try to visit your new neighborhood or town with them in advance. Give the kids a chance to get to know the new area, and you may even find that they get excited about it. Usually it’s easy enough to make a new place seem very exciting. It won’t keep the kids from wishing they could stay in the home they’ve grown comfortable with, but it may open their eyes to new possibilities.
Let Your Child Visit Schools
As a parent, you’ll undoubtedly want to take a long look at the different schools in the area, and you’ll probably find that there’s more and more variety these days. Public schools follow set curricula but still vary greatly from one area to the next. Charter schools often have their own unique sets of priorities. And private schools, as RHMS puts it, must often evolve in order to insure they keep up with top institutions and expectations. Schools are always changing (and hopefully improving!), and that means the environments are always different. If possible, let your kids visit a few different schools so that, if it’s practical, they can have a say in where they’ll spend a great deal of their time.
Prioritize Your Children’s Space
You have to unpack and set up the home the way you want it to look and feel. But this actually affords you an interesting opportunity where children are concerned. Aside from the bare essentials, you should try to prioritize your kids’ space. Make their bedrooms special, allow them some say in design, and your new home will immediately begin to feel more special to them. If you have little ones, you can even go for some elaborate bed and furniture designs. Playhouse Design offers a lot of ideas in this range and can help you to think of ways to make a new bedroom a dream come true.
Make The New House Familiar
If you have a say over any aspects of the new house, or if you’re open to redesigning it to some extent, you might want to try a fun (albeit expensive) trick and try to mimic your old house. This can only be done in certain ways, but they might have a subconscious effect on your children. For instance, consider flooring. As Macadam Floors puts it, flooring is one of the most important aspects of home design and can set the tone and feel for any indoor space. It follows that installing similar floors to the ones your kids are used to can actually be quite comforting. If that’s too major, however, you can accomplish a similar effect by painting walls the same color, using similar rugs and curtains, or reproducing any other design elements.
Dive Into The Community
Finally, once you arrive and you’re set up in the new house, go ahead and dive into the community! As mentioned, kids can be uneasy about change, but they also adapt very quickly, and they’ll begin to do so if you nudge them along. If your kids see you embracing a new town, meeting new people, and trying new things, they’ll be more inclined to get excited about it all. Leading by example can ultimately be the very best way to handle a move.