When you decide to make your residential move, you have tons of feelings – excitement, a sense of relief, and perhaps even some apprehension about telling your kids. Let’s take a look at how to talk to your young ones about a big move.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Keep explanations of the move simple, and don’t overcomplicate it. Using a social story, or using trucks and cars to explain the move visually, may be helpful. Answer questions and be prepared for a transitional period as your child adjusts to their new home.
At this age, kids may be excited about moving but will still be sad about leaving their friends. Provide plenty of time for them to adjust, and be sure to introduce them to their new teacher before their first day at a new school. While some experts believe that it’s ideal to move over the summer, others suggest moving during the school year so that your child can become immersed in school activities (and making friends) right away.
Teens are the toughest group to get on board with a family move, but it can be done. Be sure to listen to your teen’s concerns about the move, and be careful that you don’t dismiss their issues with the move as complaining or being difficult. While you can see the bigger picture and understand that life will go on after the move, your teen is likely deeply invested in their friend group and perhaps a romantic relationship (even if it appears to be nothing more than a fleeting crush).
Expect that your teen will be angry, and give them space to cry, spend time alone, or process their emotions with their friends. If it’s feasible, talk with your teen about whether they’d like to return to their old school for homecoming or prom. Having these events cemented in the future can make the transition to a new home easier.
While it may be strange to consider adult children who have already moved out of the house, people of any age can be affected by the sale of their childhood home. While you don’t need to consult your adult children before you decide to move, give them plenty of time to come back and see the house where they grew up one last time before it becomes a space for a new family to create memories.
After Moving Day
No matter how old your children are, there are a few things that you can do to help make the transition easier after moving day has occurred.
Set up your child’s room right away, so that they have a safe space to relax as they adjust to their surroundings. Keep schedules as consistent as possible. Talk to your child about whether they’d like to continue their old activities (sports, hobbies), and get them signed up as soon as possible.
Creating a sense of continuity can be huge for your child’s well-being. While moving can be stressful for everyone, rest assured that your child will adjust in due time.