Moving with a child can be a challenging experience. Adults typically find it easier to adjust to changes. It is especially problematic if a child moves away from a home that they lived in their entire life.
They are leaving behind friends, family, schoolmates, teachers, and a familiar neighborhood. If not handled properly, a move can be a traumatic experience for children. The following are a few things parents can think about to help their kids acclimate to a new house.
Take the Kids to Visit the New Home before the Move
This may not be possible if you are moving across the country or around the globe. However, if it is possible, take your kids to the new environment. Show them where they will go to school, where the movie theater is, and their favorite restaurant. Of course, show them the new home.
For example, if you purchase one of the homes for sale in Temecula, talk to the realtor and ask them if you can show your kids around inside. Take them to where their new bedroom will be. Park the car and walk around the neighborhood. Get feedback from them about what they notice as they walk around the area.
The more familiar kids feel with their new environment, the easier the transition will be for them. If you cannot physically visit Temecula before the move, why not do a virtual visit? Use sites like Google Earth to take a tour of the new neighborhood.
Help Kids See That Moving Does Not Mean Forgetting
Children may worry that moving means that they need to completely forget friends and things that have been important to them up to that time. You can help alleviate these fears by having a goodbye party where your kids can invite friends, neighbors, teachers, and other people who have been vital to them. While you may need to take the lead in organizing the event, your children should feel like they play an important part in inviting the guests. They will feel like the party was their own and can walk away with a sense of closure.
Ask guests to bring a souvenir or something that can remind your children of their friendship. Once you get to the new location, take some time to sit with your kids, and create a scrapbook. They can include their old memories and the places they enjoyed from the past. Also, leave some blank pages so that your children can consist of new memories they make in the first few months or years of being in the new location.
Help Children Take Ownership of Their New Environment
Once the move is complete, involve your children in setting up the home. They should have some say over how their bedroom is set up, for example. Let them choose where they are going to put their toys, their clothing, and other belongings. Some children feel comfortable arranging their new room to look and feel like their old room.
As much as possible, strive to keep your child’s routine the same. Children thrive when they are in a stable and predictable environment. It can be challenging to keep these things the same, especially if the move is because of a divorce or a parent’s loss. However, as much as possible, keep things like game time, bedtime, and mealtimes the same as they used to be.
Let Your Child Hold on to Their Old Furniture If Possible
Moving may seem like the perfect opportunity to get rid of your child’s old furniture. However, if possible, wait a couple of months. Slowly replacing old furniture with new furniture can make the transition a lot easier for children. When their surroundings are familiar, children feel like they have more power and control.
There is no such thing as a move that is 100 percent stress-free. If you feel stressed as a parent, you can only imagine the stress your children will experience. This stress may show itself in some behavioral issues. Give your children love and support. They might need extra mommy and daddy time. If you follow the steps mentioned above, you can make the transition easier for your children and move something positive that can improve their lives.