Preparing to move into a new home or apartment for many people involves sorting and organizing belongings, packing boxes, the physical move itself and then trying to seamlessly settle into a new place. Let’s face it, moving is hard - especially during this pandemic! It’s one of the most stressful experiences adults have in their lives and moving can be even harder on kids of all ages.
Children are often unsure of their new surroundings. They are losing the comfort of what is familiar. They may be losing friends, a neighborhood, favorite playground or park. So, how can you ease the move for children in your family?
Sell the Benefits
When you explain the move to your children, be prepared with a list of all the positive things about the new home and the fun things they will be able to do and explore in their new town and surrounding area. Some ideas may be:
New zoo or park
Outdoor activities like sailing, skiing, sledding
Local kids/families they may already know
Special classes like robotics, ballet, swim lessons
Get them Acclimated
Introduce your children to their new neighborhood before your move. Set up playdates with other kids who will be in their classes or at their school. Show them their new school environment with one or more tours, including finding their locker and classrooms. Introduce them in advance to their teacher. Take them to the playground and ball fields.
A Kid’s Sanctuary
Give your children the choice of having their new bedroom recreated as close as possible in their new home. This means they can have the same colors on the walls, the same furniture and even the same layout, if that’s possible or give them the opportunity to create an entirely new bedroom. Let them choose a theme right down to wall colors, murals, stickers and boarders, carpeting and a seating/gaming area.
Have their room(s) be the first place that is set up in your new home so they can settle into their personal space while you focus on organizing the rest of the house.
Make it Fun!
Make moving week a memorable week. Plan a fun, new activity for the family to experience! Explore local parks. Visit the library and get your library cards. Check out the local pool or beach. Find a few special places to build memories in your new town.
Kids Love Schedules
A great way to help your kids adjust to new surroundings is to stick to the same schedules. Keep the same routines for after a school studying and play. Same dinner time. Same family game night. If you have a baby or toddler, stay on the same clock for meals, snacks and naps.
It’s OK to Get Upset
Moving is a BIG change. If your children are upset about missing friends, classmates, a particular club or activity, honor their grief and help them work through it. It’s good to acknowledge that change can sometimes be hard but it also brings exciting new experiences. Let them know that you understand how they feel. If possible, set up playdates, activities or even Facetime with their old friends.
Books and Movies About Moving
There are many popular children’s books and movies about moving. This is a great way to get your kids used to the idea of moving and being in a new home.
If you are moving into Bergen County and looking for more information, please click here to get started.
Darlene Agag, President of Suburban Settlers is a 20-year veteran of corporate America who understands the challenges of balancing meaningful work and a busy home life. As both an employee and a senior-level manager, Darlene has witnessed the disruption and stress caused by changes in job responsibilities and office locations. But it wasn’t until she and her family relocated from Manhattan to her former hometown in northern New Jersey that Darlene personally experienced the overwhelm of moving and adjusting to new surroundings – all while striving to remain productive at work. That’s when Suburban Settlers was born. Today Darlene combines her entrepreneurial spirit, affinity for delivering client-focused solutions, and insiders knowledge of the NY metro area to help her clients reduce the transition time and upheaval when relocating.