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Moving: Making A Smooth Transition With Children

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I spent my entire childhood and teenage years living in the same home. It wasn't until I left for college that I moved somewhere new. In most cases, families rarely spend 18+ years in the same home. Sooner or later, you are going to think about moving. Whatever your reasons may be, you want to make sure the whole family is in on the decision and that no one feels left out. Moving is an experience that’s laden with both excitement and stress, and it’s often the children who feel the most stressed and confused about the unknown.

Young children are especially attached to the home they live in, sometimes even more so than their parents. The memories of their first home will stay with them forever, just like you remember the house you grew up in and the yard you spent years playing in.

Here are a two ways we've handled moving and helping our kids through the process.

Let them plan their rooms
You’re in for a period of mixed emotions, but it’s important to acknowledge that they will happen. While the whole family is going to be sentimental, you can lift their spirits once in awhile by creating a bit of excitement. It’s a good idea to let your children choose their bedrooms in the new house before you move in; let them choose a color for the wallsnand encourage them to make a furniture wish-list.

This is the most important signal you can send and the best way of involving them in the process; although we’re sad about moving, there is a whole new chapter ahead that we should look forward to. Have a look at new homes to keep you inspired and positive and plan your future in it together .

Prepare them for the move
Ease into  your plans of moving gently and start doing so at least a month in advance. You’d want them to be prepared for the process without giving them so much time to dwell on it. Sometimes, practicalities might get in your way and you’ll need to have the conversation sooner than you thought. If you’re selling your home, the talk needs to take place before potential buyers come to visit.

Encourage your child to express his/her thoughts on moving. Ask if they are excited, mostly sad, or a bit indifferent? Moving house can be an exciting period, and it can be difficult for young children to realize what they’re going to miss about their old home. Make a scrapbook together before moving, let them use your smartphone to take pictures of the rooms they’ll miss so much, and explain that the most important aspects of their family life will stay the same even though you’re moving.

It’s common to experience some tantrums or even regression the first period after you have moved. If moving is stressful for you, imagine what it is to your children. Patience and acceptance are key to a smooth transition, but understand that they may not come easily or immediately.

Share your feelings with your child. Make it clear that you also miss your old neighborhood and the people who lived there. They’ll grow up one day and fondly remember the homes they grew up in.

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