You Ask, We Answer: How can I Emotionally Prepare my Children to Move?

You Ask, We Answer: How can I Emotionally Prepare my Children to Move?

We understand it best; moving can be a challenge. Packing up everything you own, trying to stay organized, and managing the purchase or sale of your home are just a few reasons why many people dread moving. For parents, the stress of moving is multiplied by the emotional impact on children. While your Calcagni agent is there to help you purchase a home or sell your current one, you may be worried about how to support your children’s emotions best. If you are considering making a move this spring, don’t worry; we’re here to help you navigate the process. Continue reading for a simplified guide to helping your children emotionally through every step of the way, from the day you decide to make a move all the way through the closing date.

Before the Move

The time to tell your children you are moving isn’t when you pull up to the new house. Preparing children for the big move should start early. We understand that searching for the perfect home can take some time and includes many uncertainties. But that doesn’t mean you cannot involve your child in the process! The first step to emotionally supporting your child during a move is to have a family meeting to discuss that you will be moving. Having an open conversation about the important details and answering the questions your children may have will help lessen the uncertainty. Doing this in a family meeting setting with everyone in the household can help them feel emotionally secure and supported. Let them know that feeling sad or scared about this monumental life change is okay. Answer your children’s questions as honestly as possible without giving too many “grown-up” details they may not understand, such as finances or the job market. As a parent, it is important to understand that your children’s feelings can and will fluctuate. A child may be excited one day and sad the next. Reassure them that changing feelings is okay and that you will always be available to talk to them if they need it. There are many books about moving for toddlers, children, and even teenagers that you can read with them to aid with the anticipation. If your family will be leaving your current town or school district, another significant way to get your children ready for the move is to involve your children’s teachers in the process. Their teacher can give a hand in planning a going away party or even arrange to swap phone numbers with other parents so your children can stay in touch with friends.

During the Move

Take your child to see the new home as soon as possible, even if you can only drive through the neighborhood and stop outside. Seeing the home and neighborhood will help them visualize themselves in the space and remove some uncertainty. If this is not an option, photos and videos will also be helpful. Another way to guide a child emotionally during a move is to let your children give their input in designing the new home. Allowing your child to be involved in the decision-making process gives them a feeling of control at a time when, to them, many things feel out of control. Letting them help could be through small decisions, such as choosing between a few paint colors you’ve selected, or big decisions, like letting them design their whole room! Additionally, allowing your children to assist with packing is a fantastic way to aid their emotions during your move. It can be startling for a child to suddenly see their home bare and all their favorite things packed away in boxes. Allowing your children to help you pack can make the process smoother. This way, they know their toys are still there and safe in a box, so you remember to bring them to the new house. Many people use moving as a time to declutter, but before you ask your child to separate their things into a “keep” and “donate” pile, consider how much change and loss they may feel during this time. To help manage these feelings, first, let your child help you sort through your own donations. Modeling this behavior for your child will set a positive example for them when they are tasked with making the decisions themselves. Once everything is packed and ready to go, kids may get even more excited to go to their new home and be reunited with their favorite items.

After the Move

You’ve successfully moved into your new home – congratulations! Once the big day comes and goes, it is important to continue monitoring the emotional impact of the move and working with your child to help them adjust. Quickly unpacking familiar items can make your children feel “at home” in an unfamiliar place. Toys, family photos, and blankets are all things that can make children feel at home. Similarly to how you allowed your children to help pack, allow them to also unpack. One of the most significant ways to support children emotionally after a move is to keep familiar routines when available. Keeping the structure of a routine will make settling in more manageable and help them stay more emotionally regulated. If reading a book together is a part of your child’s bedtime routine, make it a priority to unpack the books on day one so this can continue for your child as usual.

If you feel your family is ready to make a move this spring, contact your Calcagni Real Estate agent. Our experienced team will help you and your family find the perfect place to call home.


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