Moving can be a challenge for even the most organized person. But it can be especially difficult for children, doubly so if a new neighborhood or a school change is involved. Your experiences may vary, but the key to making your move a success with your children is to get them involved.
Fortunately there are some steps that you can follow to minimize stress on both yourself and your little ones. Try these ten tips to make your relocation as tension free as possible.
1. Stay positive: Treat your relocation as an adventure. Your child may be upset about leaving behind friends and family, but they're going to look to you for support. When speaking to your child about the move, try to place an emphasis on the positive aspects and play down the negative. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it can make a world of difference.
2. Be Available: Your child may have many questions about the process. These can range from "What will my new school be like?" to "Why are we moving?" but they may also have some questions you can't anticipate. Answer their every question with as much details as possible. It seems like common sense, but being as honest an open as possible will go a long way.
3. Determine what they're going to miss the most: Sit down with your child and ask them what they are going to miss the most. These may be things that you can easily replicate in your new home. Simple things like missing a favorite restaurant or a playground can be solved in advance and take a lot of stress out of the equation.
4. Include them in the process: Ask for their help in your home search. After you've selected severalcandidatehomes, ask for their opinions. Include follow up questions on why they like or dislike certain features. Take your child on several showings ifappropriate.
6. Ask what they want in a new house: Try sitting down with your child and asking them what they'd like in a new home. What is most important to them? Is it a big back yard or maybe close proximity to bike trails?
6. Get them excited about their new room: Once you've selected your new home, allow your child to plan the layout of their new room. Consider providing them with color swatches and construction paper so they can decide where everything is going to go. Even if things change, it will get them excited about the process and take their mind off of the change of environment.
7. Throw a party: Throwing a small going away party before the move may help provide some closure and allow your child to say goodbye to their friends if your new home is in a different neighborhood. You can use this as an opportunity to collect email addresses from parents so your child can stay in touch.
8. Take a trip down memory lane: Plan a visit to your child's favorite places before the big move. Consider going to their favorite park, or eating dinner at their favorite restaurant on the last day in your old home.
9. Keep an address book: Encourage your child to keep an address book and stay in touch with their friends. It can be reassuring for them to know that all of their friends are just an email or letter away.
10. Take a tour: After the big move and things start to settle, consider purchasing a guide book specific to your new neighborhood. Plan some fun activities in your new community. Consider signing up with a local Girl or Cub Scout group or joining a sport. This will help create new friends right away.
It may take children several weeks to adjust after a move. The best you can do is remain patient, stay on the lookout for adjustment problems and make yourself available.
You might find some of these books helpful:
- The Moving Book: A Kid's Survival Guide
- We're Moving!
- A Tiger Called Thomas
- Good Answers to Tough Questions: Moving
If you've just begun your Boston real estate search, contact our Relocation Department at Gibson Sotheby's International Realty today to help you get started!