Moving With Children
As a real estate professional, it's easy to forget how physically and emotionally draining the moving process can be. Last year, my family and I decided it was time to move after 10 years of living in the same home. I immediately went into REALTOR® mode and had checklists of what we needed to accomplish. Our lives were consumed with packing, inspections (and there were several as we built a new home), making sure our financial paperwork was in order, and more packing. Our oldest child doesn't remember ever moving and our youngest has only lived in one home.
The kids were involved during the search process whether it was looking online or viewing in person. Throughout the process, our youngest daughter would ask questions like, "Do I have to leave my toys when we move?" or she would ask, "But you said we were bringing EVERYTHING, why are we leaving the fridge?".
It was a slow process and we were at the build site for the new house consistently to see and document the progress. The actual move was surprisingly smooth and every was excited after waiting months for this house go from just a slab of concrete to the place we would call HOME. It wasn't until shortly after the move that the little one began to grieve over the leaving the only home she has ever known. We were so engrossed in the physical move that we never really addressed the emotional aspects. She would ask, "Can't we just go back?" or "I want to go HOME". Had we adequately prepared her, we would have lessened the feeling of loss.
There are plenty of books out there to help alleviate the anxiety of moving. Here's a tip for REALTORS®, buy a few of these books and give them to your clients with small children. They will appreciate it more than you know!
Saying Good-Bye, Saying Hello...: When Your Family Is Moving
by Michaelene Mundy
This book helps young children deal with the stress of moving in a fun way and gives some coping tips.
Boomer's Big Day
by Constance W. McGeorge
Another one for a child under 10. The process is seen through the eyes of a family pet. It's well illustrated and easy to relate to.
My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move: A workbook for children moving to a new home
by Lori Attanasio Woodring Ph.D.
This workbook is a great informative resource for families! Lots of great ideas to help your child understand change, manage emotions, making new friends, etc.
We moved locally so the girls didn't have to change schools or disrupt too much of their lives. There are things you can do (or not do) to make your transition as smooth as possible.
- If you have toddlers, keep normal routines as best you can and don't make changes outside of the move. For example, I wouldn't recommend potty training during this process.
- Utilize technology to familiarize your kids with the new area. If you are moving to a big city, you can use the Apple Maps 3D flyover to see buildings and parks in your new neighborhood.
- Search for community videos on Coldwell Banker's On Location YouTube channel.
- Don't let your child's favorite items be packed in one of the 585 boxes that you won't get to until 3 months after the move. Pack them in a special box that they have access to at any time.
Moving is an adventure. Be better prepared.