Choosing a new place to call home is never easy. It gets even more complicated when you throw little ones into the equation. The uncertainties that come along with a big move are only amplified when you aren’t able to answer some of the questions your kids are bound to have about their new town or city.
While a plan is never going to be full-proof, you can plan ahead for some of those uncertainties and reassure them that everything will be okay. The best way to do so is to have some concrete answers – as well as places – to show them before you actually pack up that moving van and hit the road.
Below is a great list to help give you an action plan as you prepare for your next big adventure as a family.
Help Them Get Familiar with the Location You’ll Call Home
One of the first steps you can take is setting the tone for the move. The Internet is a great blessing in that it allows you as a parent to actively illustrate a new place with maps and images. Turn it into a family activity, and help your kids learn about the city. You can help paint them an actual picture with photos, interesting facts and activities that might interest them once there.
It won’t seem like a make-believe or strange place by the time you arrive. In a way, they’ll already feel like they know it.
Make Sure They Are Part of the Whole Process.
Nothing makes children feel more insecure than when they feel left out of a big decision that also affects their lives. Be open and communicate about what is going to happen now that you’ve gotten to know the new destination. Make sure they know that no question or concern is off the table.
The more open you are about addressing any uncertainty they might have – which could be silly or serious – the more you’ll be able to hash out before the big move, which will also help relieve your stress levels.
House Hunt Together as a Family
It’s only fair, really. Your kids will have to call your next home their too, so utilize the power of the internet and take virtual tours of homes you decide you like as a family. If you want, you can even narrow the list down beforehand, and help them choose between your favorites.
If you’re building, include them in the design process. Obviously, it’s important to know what not to do as well, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let the little ones help paint the picture for your next dream home.
Have Detailed Information about Their New School
This is especially important if you have older children that have already made solid friendships at their current school. You might meet with anger and opposition at the prospect of leaving and starting over. Be patient. Transitions are difficult for anyone, adult or child, and the thought of having to start the terrifying process of building relationships from scratch can cause them to be overly emotional.
Take time to know what teachers they will have, the types of facilities and activities that will be available to them. Knowing that there will be fun things to do at their new school will help ease the anxiety that might be forming.
Let Them Know It’s Okay to Miss Their Old Home
Just because you’re leaving one house and heading for another doesn’t mean that you’re leaving because it’s bad where you currently are. Misconceptions can happen with children, especially when large events can shake their whole reality. Have an open discussion where you each talk about your favorite part of your current house, school and city. It’ll help them paint some fond memories, and also work through any doubts they might have about a new place.
Say Goodbye in Style
And finally, throw a party. Goodbyes don’t always have to be sad – bittersweet maybe – but not sad. Invite over your friends and their schoolmates to celebrate the time you’ve had in your current location. This will also give your kids a chance to talk about where they are going with their friends, and close the gap between here and there.
Have a fun activity where you map out together with their friends the route you will take on the map. Visualization will help your children and their friends understand the difference and how to stay in touch.
Moving can be a very stressful and trying time for anyone. Try not to become daunted by the task of making it a smooth transition for your family. It is possible to do. Just remember to keep open lines of communication, include everyone in the discussion and above all, make it fun. You’ll find yourself settling into your new home faster than you ever dreamed possible.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.