Moving is an exciting and often challenging time, especially when kids are involved. Children can find moving particularly stressful, as they leave behind their friends and face the challenge of making new ones.
Being extra considerate with your children and providing stability in such an unstable time can make the move easier on them and yourself too. Following are several things to consider when relocating your family.
Get the Kids Involved
Have kids pack their room and help with packing other areas of the home. Let them map out their new room and choose a paint color for the walls. Giving your children control over some aspects of the relocation helps them feel more stable in a very transitional time.
Many long distance movers are well versed in relocating families and are open to getting kids involved in the moving process. Speak with your moving company about your concerns and goals before the move.
Your children may not be looking forward to the move, but that doesn’t mean it has to create a rift between you and them. Let them know that you’re always available to talk about the move and any concerns they have.
Keep Stability Where Possible
As you prepare for your move and enjoy the first few weeks in your new home, keep your usual mealtimes and bedtimes. According to a clinical expert, kids thrive on predictability and routine. Developing a routine and sticking to it can ease some of the children’s anxiety.
Parents can also create familiarity by bringing their kids’ favorite snacks and belongings immediately into the new home. Making the bed with familiar bedding and hanging pictures are small tasks that can make a drastic, positive impact.
Enroll Kids in Activities
Your kids may not feel driven to meet new friends right off the bat, especially if they’re missing their old ones. However, getting involved in community events and extracurricular activities can help them quickly meet new friends with similar interests. Remind kids their old friends are never far away thanks to social media, FaceTime and other technologies.
Meet Their Teachers
You can make the transition into a new school system easier for your children by speaking with their teachers before entering. Teachers can warn you if they see signs of extreme stress, anxiety or angst. If your family has any special circumstances, such as a parent being deployed, let the teacher know so they and the students can be more sensitive and supportive.
Studies show the disruption of moving to a new school can have a negative effect on kids’ academics and social lives. If possible, hold off on your move at the end of a complete school year if possible to minimize the disruption.
Choose the Right Neighborhood
Where you move has a significant effect on how your children adapt. Research shows that a kid’s neighborhood can change the long-term outcomes of a move. Do some digging and check out the demographics of the neighborhoods in which you’re most interested.
Look for areas that have residents with similar income levels as you. Studies show that children under the age of 13 who move to a neighborhood with a lower poverty rate could see a 30% increase in future earnings.
Additionally, a safe neighborhood that allows your kids to get outside and play with others in the community can help them make new friends and adapt more easily.
Plan Visits Back Home
Knowing they’ll be able to visit their old friends in a short while makes goodbyes less saddening and offers kids comfort. This also gives them something to anticipate while they settle into their new lives.
Discover additional things to consider when relocating your family and how to prepare via the accompanying infographic.
Author bio: Stan Caramalac is the founder and CEO of Move Central. He started the company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He strives to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Caramalac and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area.