Here are 10 Tips to Prepare Kids for a Stress-Free Move
Moving with children can be stressful. Think about it: children respond to the general atmosphere set in the home by the attitudes of their parents. If you view moving as an exciting adventure full of new possibilities, then chances are very good that you’ll infect your children with the same enthusiasm and anticipation.
Here are 10 expert tips on preparing children to move that can help minimize stress.
- Prepare children to move ahead of time
As soon as you’re even considering a move, let your kids know. Experts tell parents not to worry that this will unnecessarily distress them. Instead, it will make your children feel included in such a major decision. By not including them in the conversation, you run the risk of making your kids feel powerless. It’s best to let your children know, step by step, what is happening.
- Create a timeline for the move
Once the decision is made, prepare your kids for the moving process with a printed timeline. Include info about your current family home, such as when it will be listed for sale when you will visit the new location when you will begin packing, where you will stay during the transition when they will start their new schools, and any other pertinent information.
- Honor their grief
Children will be leaving more than just a house. They’ll be leaving friends and familiar surroundings behind. Understand that kids are grieving and let them make their way through the stages of grief without constantly trying to force them to be cheerful about it.
- Let them make as many choices as possible
There are many ways kids can be involved. Can they choose which toys to keep out while the house is being shown? Can they choose their bedroom in the new house? It’ paint color?
- Lead by example
Let your child know how you’re planning to adjust to the move. Share the ways you plan to make new friends, like joining new groups. Don’t be afraid to share your own conflicting feelings.
- Don’t wait to connect
If possible, connect with your child’s new school in advance. Gather info for other activities in your new neighborhood ahead of time, too, like Scout Troops, martial arts classes, music lessons, religious communities, children’s museums, dance classes, etc.
- Utilize the Internet and your social media
Making contacts with future friends, classmates, and fellow hobbyists can go a long way toward helping your child’s transition to a new home and environment. Social media is a great way to find other like-minded parents. That can lead to potential new friends for your kids. Search on the internet for top things to do for families in your new community, and let your children help choose which ones they’d like to visit. Luring kids to a new area with positive anticipation is a wonderful way to create organic, authentic excitement.
- Read books about moving
There are some great fiction and non-fiction books about moving, written for young readers. Here are three:
- Let kids in on organizing
Every parent knows kids love organizing projects. Letting them search for moving organization tips can be a great way to channel their energy related to the move. Some kids may like to create a Pinterest board for you or a notebook with ideas. Take their ideas seriously and incorporate as many as you can.
- Plan moving day
There’s no right answer when it comes to the question of whether your kids should be present when the moving trucks arrive. It can be very anxiety producing. Experts say the best course of action is to create a moving plan. Let the kids know where they will stay during the move and if you decide to have them be part of moving day, plan what they will do to help. Can they man a checklist? Help clean?
Your Realtor® will be able to help you when you’re moving with children just by taking pictures of your new home and sending them to you before you move. Families can have fun looking at the new house together. Let your child cut out furniture and toys to place in the rooms. They can even cut out their own picture and place it inside the new home, too. Show your child a typical day in the home as you go from room to room.
I’d be happy to brainstorm specific ideas on moving with children to Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities. Give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal(at)montecito-estate(dotted)comm. I can help you sell your existing property, too, making the entire moving experience stress free for everyone involved!