After buying a new house there is a lot to do. Getting kids ready to move is often avoided, but is one of the most important steps in moving to a new home. While packing and planning seem to be the larger issues at hand, preparing kids to move is not an issue that should get pushed aside. Take the time to involve your children in the process right from the start to make sure they know their voice counts. Moving can be challenging for kids and it is normal for them to feel the entire move is out of their control.
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During the challenges surrounding moving time, get the children involved so they have a grip on what is going on in their lives and future. In order to ensure your children feel involved and have control over at least part of the life changing event, you can try the following six tips.
- Encourage your children to ask questions and honestly answer them. Most times kids will want to know all about the new school they will be attending, the neighborhood they will be moving into, if there are kids their age around, and what types of sports teams will be available. In addition they may want to know if making new friends will be hard, if their beloved pet is moving too, and why they have to move.
- Tell your child about their new room and get input from them about the décor. Just as you are excited about your new house, your child will be excited about the new space that is going to be theirs. Give your child as much information as possible about the new house, their new room, and what décor possibilities exist. They can help to decide where furniture will go and the color of paint they hope to get on their walls.
- Help your child create a memory book and address book of all their current friends. With a simple email or postage stamp, your child will be able to keep in touch with all of their current friends, coaches, teachers, and neighbors. Help them plan their goodbyes whether it is a going away party, slumber party, or separate events to ease them into the moving process. Putting together a memory book or scrapbook of their favorite memories and goodbye moments will help them when they start missing their friends after the move.
- Give them tasks with their personal belongings. Ask your child to go through their room, toys, clothing, and other belongings to determine what needs to go and what can be donated or sold off. You can even let them have their very own yard sale to make some money if the weather is permitting. By giving them the responsibility of sorting and helping to pack their belongings, they will feel more involved in the physical process of moving to a new home.
- Instruct your children in how to make a Moving Survival Kit. By helping them decide what essentials they need for moving day(s), they will have everything they need from the time they leave the old house until they get settled in the new home. Everything from books, games, clothes, hygiene essentials, gifts from friends, and photos can be packed in the suitcase or special box to keep them busy and having fun while on the road. In addition, they will enjoy being able to decorate the Moving Survival Kit in their own style.
- Schedule time for visiting the favorite places to say goodbye. Is there a special park your child loves to visit? What about an ice-cream shop, restaurant, swimming pool, or museum that they live to go to? Ask your child where their favorite places are that they want to visit before moving and do everything to make sure at least one or two favorite places are included in the weekly schedules prior to moving. Mark the calendar to keep them excited about the final goodbyes to their favorite places.
By preparing your children for the big move, you can ensure that they feel like part of the family and part of the process the entire time. Make every effort to answer every question they have about the move and do everything possible to help them say their goodbyes for a smooth moving transition.