Moving to a new city, or even right across town, is never easy, especially when children are involved. Even when the move is your decision, it can be extremely difficult on your family. And that’s not to mention the emotional upset that unplanned job relocation can cause.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple and straightforward way to make relocation easy. But there are a lot of ways to make it less difficult and to aid in the transition process. Below are five of the top tips to make moving to a new home easier for everyone in your family.
- Discuss Plans Early
Adequate preparation is key to a successful move. You need to keep your kids in the loop with all your plans. Keeping them in the dark about the logistics of the move will only make it more stressful. Click to King & Chasemore for more advice on job relocation planning.
Experts disagree on how exactly to tell your children your family is moving. Yet it all boils down to telling them in advance. At least one month seems to be the consensus for children aged from toddlers to adolescents. Of course, an earlier head’s up is always better.
You need to give your children enough time to process the changes to come. Make sure to let them know that the most important things will remain the same. Make sure to give them enough time to let friends know about the move. Another smart idea is to take a camera and document your home and the surrounding neighborhood to preserve memories for the future.
- Allow All Feelings
It goes without saying that moving, especially for children, is an emotional experience. And it’s essential to welcome these feelings. Though it can be difficult to see your children crying, feelings of anger and sadness are a necessary part of transitioning to a new home. The loss of a childhood home is a major event and most children will need at least six months to acclimate to the change.
On the flip side, you shouldn’t hide your emotions from your child. You should let them see that you’re feeling sad about the move as well. Just be sure to let them also see how you’re dealing with your emotions in a positive manner. Encourage them to do the same.
- Maintain the Same Routines
It’s important to maintain the same schedules and routines from one home to the next. Rituals such as family dinners and game nights can help ease the transition. It helps build a sense of consistency and lets your children know that it’s only the house that’s changed.
It’s also important to maintain the same routines for babies and toddlers. Keep the bedtime rituals the same. Use the same crib and bedding. Try to stick to the regular script as closely as possible.
- Meet the Neighbors
Spending time out and about in the neighborhood isn’t just a smart way to make your child’s move easier. It’s also good for you. Meet the neighbors, especially those with children of a similar age to yours. You need to give your kids ample opportunities to meet new friends. And while you’re at it, you might just meet a friend or two yourself!
Another great idea is to allow your kids to sign up for as many activities as they want. Even if they don’t stick with many of them, it’s the perfect way for them to meet a bunch of kids their own age. And, hey, who knows? Maybe they’ll find an activity and a group of friends they really click with.
- Include in Decisions
Make your children feel like their opinion matters when it comes to your move. Though they won’t be able to actually decide whether to move or not, you should allow their input when it comes to picking new furniture and decorations, for example. Most kids won’t even really care what you end up picking out. They’ll just appreciate that you’re including them in the decision making process.
Making a move as a family is always difficult, especially when it’s due to a job transfer. Yet there are numerous things you can do to make it easier on everyone in your family. Take our top five moving tips above into consideration and we promise you that your move will go considerably easier. No, it won’t be a walk in the park, but they will make things progress much more smoothly.
Jai Corbett has corporate relocation experience and knows how a famly move can feel. He likes to share his tips and insights online and writes for a variety of property and lifestyle websites.