We’re sitting in an optimal moment in time for homeowners who are ready to sell their houses and make a move this year. Today’s homeowners are, on average, staying in their homes longer;
Saying Goodbye To Home
How to Help Kids Cope with Moving
Stability and a strong network of friends and family are essential to childhood development. But, sometimes, as parents, we must make decisions that threaten the very things our children need the most. The choice to move is one of these.
Job changes, expanding families, and the needs of aging parents are just some of the driving forces that necessitate a new home. As adults, we can logically weigh the pros and cons and get through the move by looking ahead. Kids can’t. But, there are a few ways you can turn what your child sees as a negative experience into a positive process.
The day you know a move is imminent is the day you should tell your children. Advance notice will empower your children to take control of their feelings during what is sure to be an emotional roller coaster. Host a family meeting and explain the reasons why you have to move and be prepared for a bevy of questions. Answer as openly and honestly as possible and offer a shoulder to cry on when tears began to flow. Colorado State University’s10 Tips for Successful Family Meetings, though designed for families with anger issues, offers a number of excellent suggestions on how to get started.
Your children don’t have to feel powerless throughout the entire process. They may not have a say in when or where they go, but you can let them make a few decisions that will directly impact their post-move life. Ask them to write down what their ideal new home looks like. Do they want a large backyard or neighborhood with sidewalks to ride their bicycles? When house hunting, take these things into consideration and, if possible, let the kids tag along when you’ve narrowed your home choices down.
Reduce and re-purpose
Now is the perfect opportunity to help the kids sort through their belongings and purge anything that isn’t practical or purposeful. For example, if your kindergartner is holding on to his too-small preschool rain boots, encourage donating them to a local women and children’s shelter. Explain that leaving some small treasures behind will keep the memory of their hometown alive each time they think of how it’s being used in the “old neighborhood.” Cleaning the clutter not only makes moving day simpler but will also give your family a chance to focus on what matters most, as Time contributor Carey Wallace points out in How To Help Your Kids Get Rid of Stuff. Once you’ve cleaned and cleared, it’s time to start packing those belongings that will make the trip with you. Give each child a special chore and reward them for a job well done. Ice cream and pizza the night before the move is a surprisingly effective motivator.
Manage with movers
There is nothing more valuable to your child than your time and attention, especially on moving day. Your little ones (and even bigger kids and teens) will be looking at your actions to determine how they should react on the journey from point A to point B. You can eliminate much of your trip trepidation by partnering with a moving company to handle the logistics of the relocation. Use the last precious hours before departure to say goodbye to friends and family instead of loading furniture. This will help your children achieve a sense of closure so they can look forward to a new adventure. A word to the wise here, however: moving is expensive. According to Zillow, the average household move can cost more than $12,000, so plan ahead and get plenty of estimates from reputable and recommended moving companies.
You may not be able to appease apprehension across the board but you can take preemptive measures to ease anxiety. Children are remarkably resilient and will soon settle into their strange new surroundings. By communicating with your children and focusing your attention where it’s needed the most, you set the stage for a successful change.
Daryl Hanna and The Hanna Group are committed to bringing the respect back to the real estate profession through making sure each and every transaction is handled with the utmost care & respect!! The ....
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