If you have kids and you’re planning to move into a new home, you can help make it a little easier. We all know how important stability is to children. Some parents procrastinate telling their children that they’re moving. Yet, most experts in child psychology agree that, for most kids, it’s better to know the truth early.
Tell The Children As Soon As You Know For Sure
Most experts agree that the best time to tell the kids that the family is moving to a new home is as soon as you know for sure. Be sure to use age-appropriate language when you are telling your children about their new home, but tell them as soon as you are sure. Most do better if they are given time to get used to the idea of moving before the move actually happens. Of course, there are exceptions. So, if your child has particular special needs, a school psychologist, therapist or other professional may provide individualized advice.
Use Story Books To Assist You
Some parents say that it helps to head to the library and find age-appropriate books on the subject to read to the children. The extra time spent reading together will help them feel more secure and prepare for the big move.
Validate Their Feelings
When telling your children that they are moving, make sure you validate their feelings. They might feel grief over the loss of their current home. They might be nervous and anxious. Tell them that their feelings are normal. Remind them that other kids have gone through moves and felt the same way they feel. Then, give them something to be excited about.
Involve The Children As Much As You Can
If possible, take the children to see the new home. Explore the new neighborhood. Show them the parks and play areas where you will take them. Some parents say that visiting the new school and meeting the future principal before the move was helpful. When the kids have a better idea of what their new life will look like, the transition can be easier.
If you plan to redecorate the new house when you move in, include them as much as possible. Perhaps they can help pick paint colors or choose between two types of carpet. That will help them feel a better sense of belonging at the new house.
Help Then Say Goodbye
Help them remember their current home by working on a memory book together. Include photos of their room and their play areas. If they have local friends they are leaving, make sure to add those people’s phone numbers, addresses and photos to the memory book as well. Assure them that people don’t have to live next door to still be friends.
Moving can be a scary time for a child. If you make sure to listen to them and assure them that they will be safe and have fun at the new house, the transition will go much more smoothly.