When it comes time to say goodbye to your old home and start fresh in a new community, there are a lot of things to do in preparation. The process is that much more complicated if you are moving with your family which is why I had to share 5 Ways To Help Your Kids Cope With Moving.
Moving can be especially difficult for children, according to Psychology Today. Kids need stable social connections and routine, and moving to a new home can disrupt both of these delicately balanced things at the same time.
On top of the psychological impact on your children, parents have a lot of homework to do to ensure continuity of care for their kids. Simple stuff like finding new doctors, dentists, favorite restaurants, the person that has your spare keys, your favorite supermarket, and countless other little luxuries fly out the window. It is your job to recreate them all over again.
It's no wonder 37% of adults have never left their hometown. Through all of the scary uncertainty of moving, though, the grass can be greener on the other side. Whether it is a job, a relationship, or more affordable housing, moving can offer massive long-term rewards. Why else would the other 63% of adults choose to move at least once?
If your heart is set on moving, here are some sage pieces of advice for moving with children.
2. Pack smart
Basically, throw everything away. Less basically, try to minimize what you are taking with you. Obviously, hold on to sentimental items, hold necessities, and don't force your children to give up anything they aren't comfortable with, but wherever you can reduce what you need to carry, do so. Thrift stores accept all sorts of donations, and you could make a serious impact on someone's life with what you choose to leave behind.
3. Say sweet and sorrowful “see you later”s
Goodbyes are for people you don't plan on seeing again, like the lady two doors down who always smelled like cheese and old fruit salad.
Let your kids spend time with their friends. They might see each other occasionally, but they know that things won't be the same. Take time to talk with them openly. Let them know how you feel about not seeing your friends, and listen to how they feel. Children have a rough time coping with unexpected change, so try to be sensitive to this drastic routine shift.
4. Stay on schedule
After saying see you later, keep your kids and yourself on a decent schedule. This will help you maintain the time frame of the move, and it will help distract your kids from the upcoming move.
5. Have a reunion
When you arrive at your new place, plan a party for all of your friends and family from your old community. This will comfort your children with the knowledge that their friends aren't gone, just somewhere else. Remember that 80% of guests accept an offer of coffee or tea, and you better believe that you'll need the extra energy with all of your children's friends running around in excitement.
While the kids play and reminisce about the new, try and set up recurring play dates with the other parents to keep these important long-distance friendships alive and well.
Moving is hard, this much has always been obvious. Whatever brought you to the decision to start over in a new community must've been something really special. And if it was, great! You deserve the chance to spread your wings and fly on the winds of new opportunity. It is your duty as a loving parent to make sure that your children don't get whisked away in the wake.