In the excitement and stress of buying a new home and leaving your present home behind, the needs of children affected by the move are sometimes overlooked. To make the process easier on your children – and on yourself – here are a few suggestions.
Tell your children about your impending move as soon as possible; the more time they have to get used to the idea, the better they will be able to cope with it. Clearly communicate to them the reasons behind your decision to move and how it will benefit the family.
This is a quote written by Davis Suzuki: “I cannot imagine what is going on in my grandson’s brain. He is learning about an entire world with no reference points to start from. A while back, his other grandfather was chopping wood, and as he was piling up the pieces, there was Gunny, barely able to walk, struggling to carry a piece of wood to the pile! Composting? Piling wood? One might wonder what meaning those activities will have for a child…… I believe they have everything to do with that child’s future. Children learn by the example set by adults.”
During the early stages of the home-hunting process, you might want to leave your children behind. It could be better to be distraction-free when making such an important decision. Once your decision narrows to homes about which you are serious, however, bring them along, as they will appreciate being involved in the process and they can often provide valuable input.
Once your new home has been chosen, ease the transition by getting the children acquainted with their new neighbourhood. Visit your new home, take a picture with the “Sold” sign, have them choose their bedroom, take them to their new school, local playgrounds, recreational facilities, malls, conservation areas and whatever else might be of interest to your children to get them excited about the move. If you cannot take the kids to see these things first-hand, show them pictures.
Be sure to keep nap and bedtimes the same throughout the move, set up their bedrooms as similarly as possible to their old rooms and plan for them to continue current after-school activities in your new neighbourhood. A consistent routine makes moving less stressful for children.
Our children are precious and far wiser than we often give them credit for. We also often do not have any idea of what they are thinking! When included in the details of your move, they can be quite profound! – It is also a lot more fun!