Moving with Kids – Done Right

by Shea Homes Northern California on April 13, 2013

In the Bay Area where homes are in high demand due to good school scores, proximity to large industries, and California’s beautiful weather, we understand how finding the perfect home for your family can be taxing not only on you but on your family too. Once the search is over, and you’ve found your new home, you are faced with the challenge of moving.

It’s no secret that moving is stressful, whether it’s 1 mile or 400 miles away. You feel it, your kids feel it, and sometimes it feels impossible to make the move go smoothly. MSN Real Estate spoke with Frederic Medway, a professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina specializing in working with families and children. Here are some helpful tips when moving with children from @MSNrealestate

  • Do your best to eliminate stress before the move. It will be easy to come home tired after a long day of work and home shopping. It’s important to remember that your kids will interpret your stress as worry. “Kids really have more of a fear of the unknown than the known,” Medway explains, stress will fuel the fears they may already have of moving to a new location. Try to distract yourself, and your kids, from stress and fear by making a game out of packing up your home.
  • Communicate. Your child may be more fearful of moving than either of you realize. Your child will benefit from understanding the reasons for your move and the positive outcomes of living in a new home.
  • Remain consistent in your routines and family time. “[It gets so busy] Sometimes parents forget to keep doing stuff that the family is familiar with,” Thomas Olkowski, co-author of the book “Moving with Children” says. Eat dinner together, watch your family’s favorite show, read a bed time story, stick with your normal routines. It’s important to remind your kids that while your location may change, your family will not.
  • Familiarize your children with their new home and neighborhood. If your new home is close to your old home take your kids on a tour of the new home and neighborhood. Show them the perks of their new location to give them something to be excited about.
  • Give your kids some ownership. While kids aren’t generally allowed in Design Studios, perhaps you can take photos of the flooring or counter tops you’ve chosen to ask your children’s opinion. Give your child some control by taking them to your local hardware shop to choose the paint color for their bedroom walls. Moving can make children feel like their losing the little control they have over their lives, “Do something where you give them [kids] their control back,” Medway says.
  • Make a map of your neighborhood. After the move, create a map highlighting the park, schools, shops, restaurants, etc. that are near your new home to help orient your children to their new surroundings.
  • Stay connected and active. Moving is tough, especially leaving the familiar behind. If you’ve moved far from old friends, encourage your children to stay connected via phone calls, Skype, Facebook, etc. And immerse yourself into your new surroundings as soon as possible. Once the hype of moving and moving in has settled down, go explore, enroll your kids in a class or club nearby , visit the park, try to establish new connections immediately to make this new place feel just like home!

Moving doesn’t have to tear a family apart. If done correctly, moving can actually bring your family closer. With a little luck, your only worry will be which box you packed your toothbrush in!


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