If you are relocating to a new Windsor home from outside the area, it’s stressful no doubt. But it can be a particularly difficult time for children, especially teenagers who are moving to a new town where they may not know anyone. The good news is that the vast majority of children that move during their school years do exceptionally well. When parents handle a move in a positive way, children often follow suit. In my many years as a real estate agent, I have watched hundreds or more families move and I have always noted that when a move is approached in an exciting way, the children seem better prepared and often eager for what is in store. Here are some other suggestions we have uncovered in our experience that may make your relocation run more smoothly:
1. Involve your children:
When you know that a move is coming, let your children know so they have time to adjust. Be honest at all times. Some parents say things to make their children happy even though it’s not true. For example, if you know you are not returning to your old town, then don’t tell a child that if they don’t like it, you will move back. That thought will always linger in the back of a child’s mind and will could come back to haunt you if they come home from school after a bad day, or if they feel like they are not making any friends. It is especially important to mean what you say while creating enthusiasm for the move.
2. Let them participate with house hunt:
If it works out, let your children participate in the house hunt. This is a good idea especially with older children. Ask them what they think of a particular home, if they like the neighbourhood and if it looks family friendly. Once you decide on a home, then take your kids on a tour of their new school, meet teachers and coaches. Also, if you have children that are involved in lessons, get recommendations from others and sign them up right away. It’s not only a great way to meet other children, but meeting parents as well.
3. Have a garage sale!
When it’s time to move, let children decide what they want to take and what they want to sell or donate. Let them keep a portion of the money and then allow them to buy new things once you have moved. For example, if a bike is old, let them sell it and buy a new one when you settle into your new home. Not only does it give a child something to look forward to, but it creates a sense of excitement.
4. Have a goodbye party!
It’s important that children have an opportunity to say goodbye to their friends in a healthy and positive way. Bring pizza or cupcakes on their last day of school. If you have teenagers, let them have friends over or take them out to a restaurant before moving day. Even smaller children need to say goodbye to friends. One parent had the great idea to leave postcards with her child’s old class so that they could mail her letters on occasion. Receiving mail from friends always adds to the excitement of moving into a new home that will seem strange and maybe lonely in the beginning.
Moving today is different for children than it was even ten years ago thanks to the Internet. Even if your kids are unable to visit your new home or town before the move, they can get a good idea of what their new home will be like by looking online. Not only that, with all of the social media, teens are never too far away from their friends. Skyping is also hugely popular. Be prepared with older children if they want to contact their old friends all of the time. Usually, this fades as new friends are met and they get busier with activities.
Again, as long as you involve your children and create a positive atmosphere moves usually are a good experience for the entire family. That’s not to say there won’t be bad days as there most certainly will be. But the vast majority of children handle the moving experience very well.