Moving to a new home is a life-changing event typically accompanied by strong emotions. For all the excitement and optimism, there can also be a fair amount of anxiety. This is because two things are taking place simultaneously. You are saying goodbye to the familiar and hello to the unknown. This transition can be particularly challenging for kids, who often need extra support to cope with the change. Here are 5 ways to make your move easier on the kids and unite the family in optimism:
- Take Them on a Tour
For some kids, the anticipation of what their new home will look and feel like can be stressful, especially if it’s in a far away place. All sorts of questions can pop up in their minds – from the size of their new bedroom to whether they’ll make friends in the neighborhood – which can keep them fearful of leaving their old home behind. To help reassure them, take them to your new home before you officially move in. By walking them through the rooms and driving around the neighborhood, you will be familiarizing them with what their new life will be like, showing them that everything will be just fine. If you are unable to do so for any reason, try sitting down with them and showing them pictures or taking them on a Google street view tour.
- Allow Them To Express Themselves
Coping with change requires accepting a new reality and reframing it in a positive light. Of course, most kids don’t have such coping mechanisms in place just yet. They will typically need to work through some difficult emotions first. As your children try to come to terms with leaving their friends, school, and extracurriculars behind, along with the place they’ve called home for years, they can react in a variety of ways. As parents, it’s important to understand that this can be difficult and allow them to express their feelings in a healthy and constructive way. Afterward, you can help them reframe the move by celebrating the positives.
- Make Sure They’re Involved
Kids typically have little say in the decision to move, which can leave them feeling powerless. You can mitigate this by making sure your child is actively involved throughout the moving process, even if they are just responsible for making small decisions. Whether it’s choosing the color of the walls in their room, packing their clothes a certain way, or giving their input on what they would like to have in the new place, involving your children in the decision making process will make them feel better about the move.
- Create A Travel Pack
One of the best ways to provide a sense of comfort for your kids is to create a travel pack together with all of their favorite things – including toys, games, stuffed animals or other items they can keep in a backpack for the trip. Not only will this give them a sense of control, but they will also have their feel-good belongings close at hand.
- Throw a Goodbye Party
A simple party to acknowledge friends and memories is a great way to create a sense of closure. You may also wish to take a final goodbye tour of the neighborhood and all the places that have been a part of their world for years. While this activity is likely to bring up feelings of nostalgia and a bit of sadness, it is an important part of the process of moving on. You can then look ahead to all the possibilities and new memories you will be creating in the years ahead.
While there’s no surefire way to avoid moving anxiety, getting your kids involved early and often is your best bet for a smooth transition that benefits the entire family.
For information on moving in NYC or any real estate questions you may have, contact Batra Group at (646) 202-1877.