Relocating can be complex, but moving kids, as well as adults, adds several extra elements into the mix. Combine the services of Rite Move with these tips for helping your kids cope, and your fresh start may be every bit as bright as you hoped.
1. Involve Them In The House Search
Whenever possible, make real estate an all-inclusive adventure. While you as the parent, will have the last say in what place you ultimately rent or purchase, you can still let the kids play a key role. Start by holding a family meeting to generate a house-hunting wish list. Kids might include features such as a backyard or playroom, or they may want a space for arts and crafts or music. Next, tour homes on the internet (and/or in person, when the time comes) to see what the kids like and what fails to strike a chord.
2. Introduce Them To Their New City
The anticipation of being immersed in new, unfamiliar surroundings can be daunting for adults, so imagine what it’s like for a child who doesn’t know what “St. Louis” or “Portland” even means. Until the move is actually in progress, the destination often remains a mysterious place on a map, and that can lead to even more uncertainty.
Remove some of the question marks by giving your little ones previews of all the things they’ll be able to see and do in and around their new home.
- Look up YouTube videos of popular attractions.
- Show them websites of area zoos, parks, museums, and other sites.
- Talk about options for continuing their favorite activities, such as skate parks that might be nearby or dance studios with a variety of classes.
3. Give Them Design Power Over Their New Room
Done up right, your bedroom is an oasis. Kids who feel forced to leave that sanctuary behind aren’t likely to get too excited about their new space until they learn they’ll be able to decorate as they please (within reason, of course). Head to the paint store and look at swatches to decide together on potential wall colors. Cuddle up and browse area rugs or posters online or have them plot out furniture arrangements on a blank piece of paper until they find a configuration. It’s a way to restore some illusion of control, and that feeling can go a long way toward creating happier, more adaptable kids.
4. Arrange Ways For Them To Keep In Touch With Friends
Moving away from friends is hard. As an adult, you know you’ll be able to text and call at will, but younger kids may assume they’ll never see their BFFs again. Come up with some options to help them stay connected:
- Weekly video chat dates
- A dedicated email account you can monitor.
- A special gift of stationery and stamps to facilitate old-fashioned snail mail so they can become pen pals.
5. Stage A Goodbye Scavenger Hunt
Create a sense of closure to help wrap up things in the old city before you head to the new one. Pick up a couple of instant cameras or even the disposable versions, make a list of all the places your family loves to go, load up everyone into the car, and start checking off locations. Every time you stop at a place on the list, the kids get to take a picture to put in their scrapbook along with a caption detailing their favorite memories. As a bonus, make the last item on the list a bon voyage party and invite friends, classmates, and other buddies so everyone can see “see you later” in a fun, stress-free atmosphere.
6. Go Over All The Things That Won’t Change
Talk through all the constants that will stay the same after the move and your kids’ anxiety may not disappear, but it should ease. Their pet will still be around, your family will still be together, there will still be trips for ice cream on Fridays, and a bowling place to check out on birthdays. Those touchstones are immeasurably reassuring, so don’t be shy about bringing them up often.
Make Moving With Kids Easier With Rite Move
Streamlining the relocation process is one of the best ways to ensure moving kids from one home to the next is as relaxed as possible. Rite Move is a full-service, state-licensed company staffed by professional movers who put your needs first. To schedule assistance or request last-minute help with your move, contact us today.