Making a big move is a stressful undertaking, no matter how prepared you are. When you have kids and have to take into consideration how to help them cope with all the changes at the same time, it gets even more complicated.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways you can help make a cross-country move a lot less stressful for the whole family. Being prepared and doing a bit of research ahead of time will help give you peace of mind when the time comes to make the move.
Here are some of the best tips on how to get started.
Look at schools
Do your homework and look at the schools that will be in your area once you move. Even if your child hasn’t started school yet, you may decide to place him in a preschool, and you’ll want to be prepared when he is ready to go. Find out which schools are in the district surrounding your new home and whether they are open-enrollment, which means your child can go there whether you live in the district or not. If possible, take a trip to your new home before the move and allow your child to see the school and maybe even meet his teacher.
Help ease your child into it
Making a big move can be scary for most kids, especially if they are already in school and have established friends and a routine there. Help ease them into it by including them in your plans, and find a map of your new city to hang on the wall. Show your child all the fun things there are to do there and mark them with a pen; you might even make plans to visit a few of them. Mark down the days on the calendar so your younger children can understand how many “sleeps” it will be until the move.
Amp up the excitement
You may get stressed about the move, but try not to let your child see that stress come out. Kids are very susceptible to those feelings and can take them onto themselves. Instead, make it seem like an exciting adventure. Find photos of your new town and home and hang them up on the fridge so the kids can get used to seeing it. Talk about all the things they’ll be able to try after the move, especially if you’re going to be living somewhere very different in climate from your current home. Kids who have lived on the West Coast their entire lives may have never seen snow, while kids on the East Coast may get excited about living near the beach.
For more tips on how to help your kids see the fun side of the move, visit Redfin.com for a handy guide.
Don’t focus on what will be different
While you want to prepare your kids for all the changes that lay ahead, it’s important not to focus on all the things that will be different after the move. Instead, talk about the things they’ll still have, such as all their favorite toys, their bedding, the family pet, etc. Very young children can sometimes mistake a move for an event that means they’ll be giving up all their belongings, so reassure them by making sure they know their room will look exactly the same.
Author: Alex Robbins (SafetyToday.org)