Moving with Kids:
Any move can be difficult, but a move with children can be very challenging. It’s not easy for them to say goodbye to their friends, teachers, and leave the familiar comfort for their community. Here are some tips to lessen the impact a relocation has on your children.
1. Talk to the kids
Conduct a family meeting to discuss the move and see what is on their minds. Listen carefully. Point out positive things about the move (e.g., moving to a bigger house, or to a warmer climate; maybe the new school will have more extracurricular opportunities.) Stay positive and convey excitement.
2. Host a “See you soon” (not a “going away”) party
Organize a party with family, friends and neighbors to say goodbye. Make sure everyone exchanges contact information and take photos of your kids with their friends. Speak with the parents about planning a weekend visit.
3. Make new friends, but keep the old
Children often feel isolated after moving to a new community as they do not have a built-in peer group. It is important to let kids know that moving to a new place doesn’t mean they can’t hold on to the meaningful friendships. Encourage children to use social media as a means of keeping in touch. Encourage them to sign up for different extracurricular activities, since it is a great way to help them meet new friends with similar interests.
4. Enlist their help, get their input
Help get their “buy-in” on the move, and the new location. Invite their input on their new room, what goes where, and how the new home should be set out. For the teenagers, set a budget and let them design their own room. Then, when it is all done, you can invite some family or friends over for the big unveiling.
5. Explore the new environment
For the first few weeks, expect some chaos. There will be boxes to unpack, clothes to put away, and a lot of cleaning up. Just be sure to mix in some fun activities, maybe explore the new neighborhood, but be sure to mix in some fun. Hiking, bicycling, just walking around their new surroundings may seem unimportant but they can make a big difference.