By Miriam Bornstein of Zillow
Preparing for a move can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve outgrown your space, changed jobs or are moving across the country, there’s no way around the chaos that comes with moving. Although there are lots of arrangements that have to be made to move into your dream home, communicating with your child is the most important step when moving.
- Share the News in a Timely Fashion
Set yourself up for success by having an open and honest conversation with your kid(s) that addresses why, when, where and what to expect before, during and after the move. By sharing the news early, your kids will be able to ask questions, prepare for the move and transition into their new home without feeling rushed. While sharing the news may cause some initial anxiety, allowing more time to openly talk about your move is imperative, as this conversation will set the tone for the entire move.
- Involve them
Once you’ve discussed that you’re moving, get your kids involved in the packing process. Ease the stress by ordering a pizza and creating a family wish list of the amenities you’d like the house to include. Maybe you’ve always wanted a modern swimming pool or a Mediterranean-inspired living room. After you’ve established a wish list, tour homes as a family to demonstrate that you value their involvement in the process. Together, you can to turn your wish list into a tangible reality.
- Create Excitement
Who says change has to be a bad thing? Empower your kids to make decisions about how they want to decorate their bedrooms, or what part of the neighborhood they want to explore. Finding ways for your kids to envision their home will help ease the intimidation of moving. Once you’re moved in, make time for post-move adventures. If you go on nightly walks as a family in your current home, keep the tradition alive by exploring the nearby ice cream shop or local play structures in your new neighborhood.
- Stay in Touch
Because moving is a big change, it’s important not to downplay goodbyes. Ask your kids how they want to stay in touch with friends and then propose ways to do so. Thanks to technology, long distance connections are much easier than in years past. Install Skype for video conversations or create an e-mail address for your child to chat with friends. If your kids are young, whip out the markers and stickers for an arts and crafts project that the whole family can get involved in and mail it to one of their pals.
Although moving has its hiccups, clear family communication is one sure-fire way to alleviate some of the concern. Get excited about the move as a family to help kids cope with the overwhelming fear of the unknown.