Young children are typically easier to move since they won’t quite understand the changes involved, but your approach is still crucial. Here are ways to help your toddler settle in:
1. Draw pictures of their new room together. What color do they want their walls to be? How are they going to decorate? Where will the furniture go? Let them use their imagination and look forward to making their new room their own.
2. Buy a calendar and cross off each day leading up to the move. This can be a fun countdown toward new memories, such as the last sleep at the old house or their first car ride to another state.
3. Read books about moving. A few popular ones are “The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day” or “The Good-Pie Party”
4. Have them decorate the moving boxes. Stock up on craft supplies and give them an art project to keep busy. This can be especially helpful if you need some extra time to pack up the rest of your home with minimal distractions.
5. Stay on schedule as much as possible. Aim for consistency. This will offer a solid foundation during a great deal of change.
Children in elementary school are often resilient and are likely to be open to a move. But it’s still important to help them through the change with these simple guidelines:
1. Take your child with you to look at potential communities. Drive around the area to show them the school they will attend, nearby playgrounds, local stores, etc.
2. Give your child a camera and have them document your move. Once you are settled in, set aside time to create a photo album or scrap book to display fun memories.
3. Host a goodbye party for friends and classmates. Highlight how easy it is to keep in touch through phone or online. You could even provide them with their own address book to save their friends’ phone numbers and addresses.
4. Contact teachers, coaches or club advisors prior to your move. Ask them to assist your child with the transition. Some schools even have a buddy system to help with the first couple weeks of school.
5. Have a picnic in your new home or community. Create your first family memory by arranging a picnic in your vacant home before any furniture is officially set up.
It’s common for teenagers to actively rebel against moving to a new place. They’re likely already going through a great deal of change and have probably invested a lot of time in friends, sports or clubs. Make their adjustment a little easier by following these tips:
1. Get their input. Find out what type of home they’d like, what kind of bedroom they’d prefer and what they look for in a community. Make sure to get their input early so they feel like an important part of the decision.
2. Plan a goodbye party. Ask your teen if they want to a have a going-away party or weekend get-together with their closest friends. Saying goodbye isn’t easy but turning it into an event can bring closure.
3. Encourage a fresh start. If your teen attended the same school district from elementary to middle school, then their persona is most likely engrained in their peers’ mind. Remind them that at a new school, no one has any preconceived notions about who they are, therefore, if they want to change up their interests, they can.
4. Go explore. Try a new restaurant, hang out at the mall, catch a movie or go to a local attraction. This will help their new environment become more familiar and comfortable.
5. Tour their new school together. If you're moving before the school year, this can be an excellent time to sign up for a summer club or team. That way, they will already recognize some friendly faces when the school year begins.
A move can present many challenges, but good life lessons can come from this kind of change. With these suggestions, your children will adjust to your new home in no time!