Moving can be stressful. As parents, we know that it’s a big deal for our kids as well, but it can be hard to predict how it will actually impact them. As with any other facet of parenting, what we can do is be intentional and hold the space for our children to move through their emotions and experience in whatever form they take. What might that look like as you are getting settled into your new home? Here are a few ideas.
Manage your own stress.
All children pick up on their parents’ stress, and some of them are more sensitive to it than others. If you need one more reason to manage your own stress through whatever self-care works for you, this is it. The transition will be easier for you and your child if you take time to slow down, take care of yourself, and maybe take a few things off your schedule.
Realtor tip: work with a trusted real estate team from your realtor, to the lender, home inspector, movers, insurance agent, and beyond. Start with your realtor and leverage them to help you navigate finding other professionals. Real estate professionals should have a book of recommended partners for you to interview and select.
Get their room set up as quickly as possible.
Once the boxes start arriving, make sure you unpack and set up their room as soon as you can. Involve them in the process and give them a say in where everything goes. This will help them feel connected to the new space, and having their stuff out and available will help make it all a little less overwhelming. Plus, it will give them a safe space they can turn to if they need a little space to process.
Realtor tip: let your child select a couple of boxes to keep in the car so they can be unloaded as they arrive. Packing isn’t always a joy but planning and labeling can really help you achieve helping them get their room set up first!
Most children appreciate having some predictability to their days. This doesn’t mean you have to have a rigid schedule, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that having a flow to the day will help your child feel more at home in their new space. It will give them at least one thing that’s predictable, and it can be as simple as getting dressed and ready for the day before watching tv or playing on a tablet while you unpack. That way they are all ready to go when you’re ready to take a break.
Realtor tip: If your children are of school age, consider the pros and cons of moving during the school year versus summer. Will you be staying in the same district or neighborhood? Will bus routes change? Any vacations or camps planned that might affect their settling in?
Carve out time daily for exploration.
Making exploring your new neighborhood part of your daily rhythm will help you and your child feel more excited about the move. Go to the library, go for walks around the neighborhood, explore the park, meet the neighbors. See if there’s anywhere you can walk to for a snack and use the time to talk and simply be together.
Realtor tip: Check with the city or county for parks and rec activities or classes. It could be a good way to meet new friends while exploring and getting a lay of the land and trying something new.
Expect your child to have emotions.
And expect that they may be misplaced or may not look the way you anticipated. They can show up as frustration with unrelated things or regressions, for example. Don’t ignore this. Ask your child questions – do they miss their old house? Their old friends? How are they feeling – Excited? Sad? Confused? Angry? Happy? Asking questions helps you offer the words without telling them what they are feeling. Even if they aren’t ready to talk about it right away, don’t give up. Be with them, invite the conversation at different times in different ways, and keep the door open for them to talk to you about the move.
Realtor tip: Don’t hesitate to speak with a mental health professional as a family or individually to help work out emotions. Moving is so exciting but can be stressful at times. Seeking help is ok!
Our Team Is Here for You
Buying and selling a home is a significant process…especially when doing it with kids! Make sure you have an experienced, patient real estate agent on your side. With Julia Monaghan Real Estate Group, you can rest easy. Our expertise and calm determination offer you a smooth, stress-free process. Reach out today to see if we are the perfect fit for your needs.
About Julia McGarey:
Julia has been working with children of all ages since 1998 and has a master’s degree in Human Development and Education. She became a mother in 2015, and through her own journey, realized the best way to provide long term support to children was to support their parents. Her years of professional experience combined with being a parent herself has given her insight into the many challenges parents face. She knows that all parents struggle at some point along the path, and she created Partnered Path Parenting to provide support for those in the thick of these struggles. She understands the challenges parents face, and she works hard to help parents minimize power struggles and unwanted behaviors while finding more joy and ease in their relationships with their children. You can find her at http://partneredpath.com or on Instagram @partneredpathparenting.