My girls have lived in the same house their whole lives, so the idea of moving was definitely an exciting, but scary concept. Fortunately, my wife and I knew it was coming for a long time and had the chance to prepare the girls for the big change; but even with all the excitement surrounding our move, there were still some unsettled feelings that had to be dealt with. If you’re planning on a move and you have young kids, here’s what I recommend to make it a little easier on everyone.
Involve Kids in the Process
Try to involve your kids in something during the building or decorating process for the new house – in their own rooms and beyond. Let them help you pick the paint colors for the dining room, or the rug for the living room. Show them your top three options and let them choose their favourite. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as they get to be a part of it. Since I was building a new house from scratch, I let my kids be a part of a special project in my new office. Not only was it a great way to spend time together, it got them excited about the new house and gave them a sense of pride in their own contribution to their new home.
Get to Know the New Neighbourhood
Moving to a new place can be a little scary, so before moving day take your kids to the new neighbourhood and show them around. Visit local attractions, go out for lunch, and drive by their new school. If they start to feel a sense of belonging in the new neighbourhood they’ll be excited once moving day finally arrives. Since our house was a new-build I had the chance to take the kids to the construction site multiple times and show them the house as it was being built.
Take Pictures of the Old House
To ease the sadness your kids might feel about leaving their house, do a fun photo shoot with them to capture some memories. Take silly pictures in all their favourite spots and make it a fun experience for the whole family. When you move into the new house you can display the photos in a gallery wall or put them in an album, it will make the experience of saying goodbye fun instead of sad.
Let Kids Pack a Bag of Their Own
Let your kids pack a bag of their own and fill it with all the things that are important to them. Seeing all of their stuff getting packed away can be a bit traumatizing, so let your kids take control of the situation. Let them choose the items they consider important and pack it in their own special bag. It will give them a sense of control and take away some of the feelings of uncertainty.
The most important thing you can do is stay positive. Everyone gets a bit stressed and a bit nostalgic when moving, and that’s ok, but if the kids see that you’re sad they’ll be sad. Try to keep up their regular routines as much as possible and focus on all the exciting things to come.