Though children may tag along to visit a new home and neighborhood, they do not take part in negotiations or contract signing. Mom and dad decide. Mom and dad also have to deal with their children’s fears and questions about a potential move.
Some measure of preparedness in the way of “child psychology” may lighten the path ahead. Here are a few ideas for parents. Some may be new; some may be familiar ideas with a new twist. Please take advantage of the comment box at bottom to share your own tricks.
According to Diane Laney Fitzpatrick, newspaper reporter and mother of three, parents who are preparing to move with children should not wait until plans are firm before including the kids in the process. She also advises, “Explain everything… Assume your children know nothing about what a move entails. Very young children will be confused about what they are able to take and what they will not… Assure them that all their toys, clothes, furniture and belongings will be put into boxes and taken to the new house”.
Diane also recommends parents ensure the transition is fun. “Plan to splurge a little bit on transitioning from one home to another. Spend a night in a hotel with an indoor pool. Go to fun, kid-friendly restaurants for meals.” Your Real Estate Agent can recommend kid-friendly activities for a family outing. How about discovering a local museum, aquarium or swimming hole? Here in Vermont, the possibilities are nearly endless. You could even plan on attending an early evening community dinner.
Parents should pay special attention to features that are specific to the new house and that might be of particular interest to their children. Is there a bigger family room? Bring the kids along for an imagination journey to this room, making it a fun family time to share wild ideas about how to decorate this particular room. This can help the kids begin to establish a sense of belonging. This is especially important for their own rooms, which should be the first rooms that get attention upon moving; even going as far as letting them pick the paint and furniture.
According to an article by GMAC Real Estate, “The most successful re-locations are the ones in which parents take their children’s concerns into consideration from day one.” Many parents may believe that a certain level of “secrecy” will protect their children from the fear of moving. In truth, the more involved they are, the easier the transition.
How to Move with Children – Suite101.com
GMAC Real Estate – Helping Your Children Relocate