Moving With Children
By Brian Kelly
Moving is an exciting time full of commotion that can be tough on everyone, including the children. The impact the move will have on kids usually is age-related. Babies, toddlers and young children tend to deal well with moving, while adolescents may resent and resist the move. Here are a few timeless tips that may help all families on the move:
Clearly explain why you’re moving. Children like to be in the loop and talking to them about the move, what it means and what it will entail can help limit move-related anxiety.
Familiarize the children with the new location by providing them with exciting information about the area. Some useful tools include maps, news stories and pictures. Highlight some of the location’s points of interest that you think your children will appreciate, like an amusement park or nearby lake.
Make sure everyone has packed and clearly labeled their most-used items and keep these items easily accessible. For a small child, this could include a few favorite toys or a security item. Older kids may not be able to survive without certain electronics or favorite clothing items.
Moving Babies and Toddlers
Babies and toddlers typically are easy to move, but they also can become confused or scared. Consider the following tips for them:
Pack their rooms last and keep favorite toys and other must-haves close at hand.
Try to stick to established routines like lunchtime and naptime.
Once in the new house, young children may need to be reminded about which household appliances are dangerous and other safety precautions or rules they learned at the previous house.
Moving Preschoolers and School-Age Children
Kids this age can get excited about moving and may be eager to help. If you’re moving with school-age children, consider the following tips:
Let the children help pack their own rooms and once you’re in the new house, let them help decorate and arrange their new rooms.
Locate the recreational facilities and children’s group activity centers. Once you’re in the new location, enrolling your children in group activities can help them quickly make new friends.
Adolescents are deeply involved in their social network. Child development experts suggest these kids receive news of the move as soon as possible. They will need more time to get used to idea and to say good-bye to their friends. Some other tips to consider:
Spend time together getting to know the new area by driving around and noticing what other kids are doing and wearing. Discuss how you can help your child “fit in.”
If your child is a senior in high school, some child-development experts suggest letting the child stay behind to finish the school year. These experts emphasize that this decision only makes sense if your child’s living conditions will be appropriate and safe.
Moving is an exciting time when families tend to work together to make sure the adventure goes smoothly. Your real estate professional has helped many families move and is a great resource for more information about moving with children.