Buying a home can be a stressful process, sometimes filled with ups and downs. It may be best to wait until the sale is certain to close to discuss the move with your children.
The excitement of moving to a new home can potentially be overwhelming for children, particularly for younger ones, but with advance planning this process can go smoothly.
Take the kids for a tour of the new home and make some plans with them. Let them be involved in choosing paint colors and décor for their new rooms.
Packing & Moving
Moving gives you a great reason to pare down your possessions. Work with your children to sort toys, books and games before the packing begins. This is a good opportunity to introduce them to the concept of donating items to charity, or to tackle a garage sale as a family project.
When packing is done, save one special box for each child, and keep these separate from the moving van. These boxes can contain anything that is particularly special to the children. Assure your children that their special boxes will be in the car and unpacked only by them.
Take time to have a ritual of saying goodbye to the old house. Take photos of the old house to save the memories. On the actual moving day, you may wish to have a friend or relative babysit and have the children join you when the bulk of move-in has been completed.
Leaving Friends Behind
If you are moving far away, your children may find it hard to leave their friends behind. Talk with them about staying in touch with letters, phone calls, and sleepover visits. Older children can use Facebook, where younger children can learn the old-fashioned art of writing letters to a pen pal.
The First Night
For the first meal in your new home, plan in advance to order pizza or other food delivered for dinner to keep your evening stress-free. If you’d like to add some special fun to the move-in process, have a family campout in the living room. Cozying up in sleeping bags by the fire will be memorable for the entire family and might become a custom to enjoy on future moves.
Old & New Routines
Keeping up any regular routines you have will help your child feel safe. Continue your customs of bath time play, bedtime stories, hot cocoa at breakfast. Scope out any parks or playgrounds in your new neighborhood, and take your children there soon after the move takes place.
Have a housewarming party and invite your old friends and new neighbors. Have the children help with invitations, food and games for kids. Explore new shops and restaurants together and discover where your new kid-friendly haunts will be.