Moving a household is a large undertaking at any time of the year. It is often experienced as a loss. You and your family will be losing the daily interactions with the people and places in and around your old neighborhood. When your family includes school age children they will also be processing the loss of favorite teachers and their active peer group at school when moving in the winter. Here are some helpful winter moving tips to consider when moving with kids.
Family Meeting: Have a family meeting. Children need to be aware of an upcoming move. Listen to your children. They will likely present a host of emotions and concerns. Change is stressful. Answering questions about the move honestly will help your children transition as easily as possible. Giving them space and understanding to process difficult feelings can be challenging, but it is a very important step in the process. When your children know they are allowed to have all kinds of emotions will better prepare them for life, and may help keep negative feelings from returning in the future.
Time: Giving family members a generous amount of time. It is needed to process the changes. Opening doors in a new community is much easier when time has been given to say goodbyes, visit favorite places, and process feelings around an impending move.
Age Specific Tips: Parents Magazine (now parents.com, the print edition ended in 2022) outlined some important things to remember for toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children in an article written in 2021.
- Toddlers: It is recommended to keep the explanations simple, pack their bedroom last, unpack their bedroom first and maintain routines.
- Preschoolers: It is recommended to let your child help. This can slow down the process of packing, but it is important. Talk about the move ahead of time, and visit the new home before moving. You can also visit the new home virtually online, and view the community with Google Maps if visiting in person isn’t possible.
- School Age Children: Find ways to help your school age children say their goodbyes (some ideas are described below in “old friends”). Be ready to field negative feelings. They might say “I hate you, I’m not moving”. They might yell. Be patient and listen. Don’t yell back. Listen to their feelings and work on empathizing with them. Sharing your own emotions can be helpful, both the positive and the negative, but remember to emphasize the positive: which would include the excitement of the new home, new friends and community, and a host of undiscovered adventures.
Old Friends: Hosting a goodbye pizza party for friends and classmates can be very helpful. Have your kids make a list of several of their most important people for keeping in touch. It is important they can have someone to talk to occasionally about their new life in the new town. The “keep in touch list” can include friends, neighbors, teachers, grandparents, or whoever is most important to them.
The New School: There will be a fair amount of planning needed to transition from an old school to a new school when moving in the winter. You will need to:
- Tour the new school.
- Request official transcripts are transferred to the new school.
- Speak to key teachers and administrators to request notes and recommendations to include in the transcript.
- Provide immunization records, medical records, and health history as required by the new school.
- Have your children meet with their new teachers and administrators before their first day in the new school.
Traditions: Maintain your family traditions. This will provide comfort to your family. A tradition can be as simple as nightly reading from a bedtime storybook. It might be a Saturday morning breakfast of homemade french toast with maple syrup and fresh blueberries or fruit compote. Perhaps your family enjoys a regular winter ski/snowboarding trip to a mid-western state or Europe. Take the trip, maintain the tradition, and comfort your family the best way you know how (every family is different).
New Friends: Your children will find a new group of friends in the community. It will take a little time. Help the process along by signing up for extra-curricular activities. Letting children have some say in what is chosen is important. Soccer teams, lacrosse teams, ballet companies, hockey teams, chess clubs, drama clubs, or any sport or activity your child is interested in will serve them well. They will be enjoying an activity with like minded people. Friendships will be made. Life will be good.
Whether you are new to the area and want to buy a home or need to relocate and are getting ready to sell your home I have the tools and knowledge to simplify the experience for you and your family. I look forward to working with you for all of your real estate needs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Contact Chuck Mangold today!