Whether you are using movers, moving and storage, or doing it yourself, this can be a very stressful time for your children and yourself. No matter how much you prepare your family, they are still impacted by this major change. There are some important aspects to remember and some helpful tips to ease your children/teens during the moving process. There will be many issues that will arrive and mixed emotions especially when dealing with teens, especially with friends, clubs, schools, so you want to make this as easy as a process as possible, because they will be dealing with a lot.
INFORM YOUR FAMILY AS SOON AS THE DECISION IS MADE: The sooner your family knows the better for everyone, your child will feel included with the process, and your teens won’t feel as if you are holding back information from them, to save you from future resentment. They will feel as they can communicate a little more openly if you are open with them from the get go, and will probably express more to you before, during or after.
INFORM YOUR FAMILY, WHY, WHERE, AND WHEN THE MOVE IS HAPPENING: Whether it is financial reasons, or job promotion, or a family member is sick and you need to be closer, inform your family why you are relocating. With children, it is important that you be direct with your child “we are getting a bigger house, or smaller house”, “daddy/mommy got a new job”, “mommy needs to help grandpa out and we need to be closer”, let your teen know why you are moving, whether it’s you got a promotion, or need to downsize, or move closer to a relative, explain to them the reasoning. Let your family know where you plan to relocate to. Have a time frame in mind. It’s not a bad idea if it is the middle of the school year to let your children stay at the same school till the end of the year (if that is possible) to avoid the disruption of classes, having to adjust to new faces, and a new way of teaching in the middle of the year will make things harder for you and your children/teenagers. The moving process is easier if you are going into it in a new school year, when it’s a new grade for everyone, so everything is not traumatic for the teens/children (like having to adjust right away, along with the home, now school, friends, etc).
GET YOUR CHILD/TEEN EXCITED: It is important, you as a parent do your home work, whether it is finding fun places for your child, like a park, hobby, activity, something the child has to look forward to. For your teens investigating schools, academics, sports (something that they are involved in, for example if they play baseball, finding out if the school has a good pitching program, or good team, etc), clubs, activities they can be involved in. If moving out of state, maybe the weather will be warmer, colder, fun activities they can learn like surfing, skiing, etc. Get them excited about picking their room, or decorating, or having a game room in the basement, etc, make it exciting for your teen/child something they will look forward to. Make the adjusting process a little easier is a good step to follow.
ALLOW YOUR CHILD/TEEN TO ASK QUESTIONS AND MAKE SUGGESTIONS: Include your child or teen with picking out the house, or suggesting a color for a room, let them feel like they are an important part of this process. Allow you teen/child to ask questions, and likes and dislikes about moving, this well help them adjust. Though it may not be always peaches and cream with teenagers, in the long run, they know they can come to you if they are not adjusting well by you letting them be open to the process. No doubt there will be mixed emotions whether they are a teenager, or a child, moving is not an easy process especially with teens, making new friends, fitting in, school, learning levels, etc.
ALLOW YOUR FAMILY A SAYING GOODBYE PROCESS: It is a good idea for getting an address book for friends, local businesses, contacts so you and your family can keep in touch. By letting your child say goodbye to a friend, or teacher, doctor, babysitter, etc, this will help the leaving process go a little smoother. For your teens, a going away party, or outing with their friends as a goodbye gesture is always a good idea, and helps with the heartache. Allowing your teen to communicate with friends is important, whether its facebook, text, phone, etc.
ALLOW YOUR TEENAGERS/CHILDREN GET INVOLVED WITH PACKING IF YOU’RE NOT USING A HOUSE MOVER TO PACK: Get your family involved, make a game out of packing if you have younger children. This is a good time to get rid of items that you don’t use or are taking up too much space. Let the child pick the toys they want to keep, or maybe let them pack their personal box of their items, or let them color or decorate the box that is theirs. Allow your teen to pack their own boxes so they can get rid of items they don’t need, make sure they pack their necessities last or keep their personal items with them (like jewelry, valuables, prize possessions, etc).
MOVING DAY: MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: It’s a good idea to make arrangements for your younger children on moving day. Moving is already a stressful process, by having them stay with family or friends for a day it will be a lot easier whether you are using local home movers/long distance movers, or doing it yourself, and also for safety reasons, so nobody is injured.
VERY IMPORTANT: Keep personal items, like blankets, teddy bears, favorite pillows in sight or take them with you, so come the night when you are settling in your child is able to adjust with their special items, and it is not a disruption. Allow your teens to keep personal items they will need for the first night with them, if long distance moving, it’s a good idea if you are traveling on a plane or long car ride to have activities and snacks on hand (magazines, books, DVD, games, etc).
Once you are settled in, now it’s time to adjust to your new lifestyle.
KEEP ROUTINES AND SCHEDULES: Whether it is nap time, dinner, reading, activities try not to change anyone’s routing or schedule too much, the less change with these things the better the adjustment period will be on your family. Help your teens adjust, whether you need to volunteer at a school or activity to help them meet friends, tour the local schools, park districts, etc, make it a family thing. Remember there are going to be a lot of mixed emotions especially with teens so the more you are there for your family, the easier the transition will be. Enjoy your new home.