My family recently moved into a new home. So recently, in fact, that we are still unpacking and only just now got the internet hooked up. We had lived in our previous house for nearly 16 years…all of my daughter’s life. Here are a few issues we encountered and ways that helped us prepare her for the move.
If they are old enough, inform the kids as early as possible. In our case, we house hunted for about two months and took our daughter along with us to look at most of the houses. She knew from the beginning of the process that a move in the near future was possible. That extra time to get used to the idea made the transition easier for her.
Involve the kids in packing. It made my daughter feel better to have her own supply of boxes, packing materials, and tape. She could pack her things in the way that made the most sense to her and not worry that something was going to accidentally be left behind. If your children are younger, maybe just let them pack up their stuffed animals or other sturdy items that can’t be broken.
Let them make at least some of the decorating decisions for their new space. In our case, we were buying and she had her own room, so we could give her a lot of freedom in this respect. She chose a new paint color and blinds but decided to keep almost all of her old furniture and curtains. We allowed her to arrange her furniture as she liked (with a bit of guidance about avoiding the air vents) and hang posters and art as she liked.
Keep in contact with friends. We wound up moving only about a half hour away from our old house, so this isn’t particularly difficult for us. However, if your move is further make use of both electronic communications and old fashioned postal mail. Kids love getting real mail, in my experience. A few dollars worth of postcards or greeting cards and stamps are well worth it to put a smile on a kid’s face.
Explore your new neighborhood or town. Find the park that’s perfect for a picnic, or look around for the local tourist attractions. We were lucky, one week after we officially moved in our new town hosted a Harvest Festival and it was a great way to meet people and have some family fun.
Above all else, be patient. Some kids are more resistant to change than others and a move is a highly stressful event. Calm their fears, listen to their complaints, and try to stay positive even if it seems like they are never going to settle in. Try to treat the experience as an adventure. Of course, every situation and family is different, but I hope you found some of these ideas useful.