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Breaking the news about household relocation to your kids

mother in red dress and daughter sitting on swing bench and talking about the move

Keep an open communication with your kids during the household relocation

With so many changes induced by a household relocation, no wonder why it is so tough for the kids. Sooner or later, many families face the necessity to move to a new place due to various reasons. Whether the decision to move is due to financial and career changes or personal aspirations, the truth is that the transition to a new home is anything but easy.

When you decide to move, you are choosing not only a new home, but also a new lifestyle.  Your entire family will be affected by a series of changes, which can be especially hard on your kids. Chances are that they are emotionally attached to the warm and familiar surroundings, so their reactions to the news of moving may vary. Depending on their age, they may be either overly excited or frustrated about the household relocation, which turns out to be a major ordeal for most of them.

Let’s face it, it’s an emotional transition that may turn your kids’ lives upside down. But, the sooner they realize that it’s for the best, the sooner you will have them on board. With the right approach, you will get them excited about the move in no time. While it’s easy to get caught up in all moving hustle and bustle, take your time to have an honest conversation with your kids. Try to maintain their day-to-day stability and to provide reassurance that everything’s going to be just fine. Also, make sure to figure out the best way how to cope with negative feelings they may have about the move.

How to minimize negative effects of the move on children

Once they find out about the decision, chances are that your kids may feel powerless since they cannot do anything to change it. It’s highly advisable to allow your children as much time as possible to accept the idea of moving.

Parents’ attitude will mostly determine how the children feel about the move. It’s up to them to eliminate potential stressors and make the move as anxiety-free as humanly possible. Also, how they feel depends largely on their age.  If the relocation itself is precipitated by some unfortunate life events like job loss, divorce, family hardships the transition can be even more traumatic.

Whether moving to another state or just a couple of blocks away, children and teenagers aren’t fond of such routine disruptions. Let your kids express and elaborate their feelings through an open communication.

While counting down the days until moving day, a mutual support can go a long way toward minimizing negative emotions. A quality, family time spent in the middle of moving chaos may give kids reassurance that moving is beneficial for each family member.

Maintaining close relations within the family even during such challenging times is crucial. If you go about the household relocation the right way, it can be a fun activity as well. Furthermore, through this experience you will be able to learn more about each other and to stick together when times get tough.

How to encourage your kids’ interest in the upcoming household relocation

Mother and child sitting in front of a map and talking about the household relocation

Be open to your kids’ ideas when organizing a household relocation

-Make their opinion count. Even if kids are not involved in the decision making process, keep them up to date all along. Schedule a tour and visit your future neighborhood before moving day so that your kids can envision themselves in the new environment. Boost your kids’ interest in their prospective family home by showing them its most amazing traits. The sooner they get a sense of what awaits them, the faster the fear of the unknown will fade.

Choosing a family-friendly neighborhood may be beneficial for the adaptation process later on, so choose wisely the place you will call home and raise your children.

-Have them create their own wish list. Let them make minor decisions like the color of the walls, new furniture pieces, new room layout,… Emphasize all interesting features that make your new home an amazing place. Whether it is a swimming pool, a large play room or a spacious garden, make sure to point it out.

Moving doesn’t have to be all about stress, tension and sadness. Assign your children special tasks and responsibilities so that they may feel helpful. Let them know how valuable their assistance is for the entire process.

No matter how beneficial the move is, children may have trouble understanding the reasons why they need to leave their sanctuary. Your patient approach and simple and straight-forward explanations are your best ally when helping your kids cope with the household relocation.

Helping your children cope with the move

As it turns out, some kids are more susceptible to taking a household relocation badly than others. School age children are usually concerned about whether they will be accepted at the new school. If switching schools is due to  some unpleasant life event like divorce or job loss, then a sense of insecurity and fear may be intensified.

Enroll your kids in productive, yet interesting extracurricular activities where they can socialize with their peers. Also, try to get in touch with families whose kids attend the same school so as to get some inside hints. That way your kids might be able to make new friends even before their first school day.

Baby boy sitting on the floor and playing xylophone after the household relocation

Settle your kids’ room first immediately after moving into your new home

Also, keeping your kids’ routine as unchanged as possible will minimize the whirlwind of mixed emotions. Help them get in touch with their old friends and classmates. You may even schedule and organize their next get-together so that they have something to look forward to. Planning a housewarming party after you settle into a new home is a nice way to unwind, de-stress and show off your new home to the friends and loved ones.

On the other hand, if you are moving with a toddler, make sure to make safety your top priority when settling into a new home. Eliminate or adapt all potentially dangerous spots and objects so that your kids can freely explore the new territory. Make them feel comfortable by setting up their room first. Try to recreate the familiarity of your old home by adding their favorite colors, furniture, toys.