I have come to that place in motherhood where I have accepted that everything is harder with kids. As a mother of 2 boys ages 9 and 6, I have experienced my fair share of tantrums, whining, and flat-out lying on the floor in the check-out line at Target because I did not buy a candy bar for my son. Through all these hard times, I realized my kids lacked the coping mechanisms to handle changes or being told “No”. Moving is a big change, and as parents, we must provide tools and support for our children to cope with changes.
When I was in kindergarten in Buffalo, NY, my dad was laid off from his job when the factory closed. My dad found a new job in Wisconsin, and my family moved from the only house I had ever known, my cousins, grandparents, and school. I had to finish the school year in a different school in a different state. It was a rough year, but through that move and the others that followed, I learned a few tips along the way.
6 Tips to Supporting Your Kids While Moving to a New Home
1. Talk With Your Kids
This may seem obvious, but taking the time to sit down maybe over pizza and talk about the reasons for moving goes a long way. Be honest and explain the reasoning behind this decision– new job, outgrown your current house, or family issues. Make sure to listen to your child’s needs and concerns with the move; you will discover ways to make this less stressful for your child.
2. Include the Kids
Moving is a big undertaking, but when everyone can agree on finding a new house it becomes less challenging. Ask your kids what they would like in their new house- a backyard, a playroom or a room where they can hang out with their friends.
3. Be Consistent
Unless there’s a budget constraint, try to keep things similar to what they are used to in housing. If possible, do not go from a 3 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom apartment. It might seem like a tiny detail, but your kids will notice this change.
4. Make Realistic Promises
We wish we could give our kids the best of everything, but don’t promise a pony or pet to your child to help ease the burden of moving. Instead make promises you intend to keep, such as; let them decorate their new room or a basketball goal in the driveway.
5. Make New Friends
My first experience moving was the hardest as I left family and friends, but my mom taught me a simple rhyme- “Make new friends, and keep the old ones. Some are silver and the others gold.” I wish we had the power of the Internet when I was a kid; it would have been easier to stay in touch with friends. I love seeing moms reaching out to other parents in Facebook mom groups explaining their upcoming move and wanting to plan play dates– such an excellent way to meet new friends for the kids and moms too.
6. Remember Your Memories
Just like friends, it’s important to document the memories you made in your home. When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved yet again from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Our Realtor gave my sisters and I a scrapbook to fill with pictures of our old house, friends, and write about the memories we had made. It was fun putting my scrapbook together and having something to look after our moving experience. I’m in the process of creating a scrapbook template for my client’s children based on my own positive experience.
There are many working parts to moving to a new home, but keeping our kids happy (for the most part) by listening to their concerns and including them in the process will ensure a pleasant move for everyone.
Have you moved recently? What did you do to make sure your children transitioned smoothly into their new home?
About Rachel Withers
Blogger turned Realtor, Rachel stays busy chauffeuring her 2 boys to sports activities and occasionally coaching as well. Rachel enjoys gym mornings, exploring the Triangle with her family, and making new friends.