The average American moves about 12 times in a lifetime. Children move on average two and a half times between birth and eighth grade, with some moving ten times or more.
While moving can be a positive experience for the family, any realtor will tell you they’ve seen that moving can be challenging for many kids. That often adds stress for the adults, who want to provide their children with a secure environment and do what they can to make a move easier.
St. Helena Real Estate deals in wine country real estate, but we also love helping our clients manage the stressors that often come with moving your house. Here are some of our favorite tips for helping to make a move easy and fun for your kids.
It’s no surprise that parents are the ones who make the critical decisions related to moving, choosing the house, the town, and the schools their children will attend. That can make a child feel powerless and overlooked.
Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to ensure a smooth move and reassure the kids that they’re an essential part of the process.
See moving from a child’s perspective. Moving far enough away that your kids won’t be seeing their friends and nearby family as often as usual can be scary. Even toddlers, who thrive on structure and routine, can feel the loss. Giving your children extra attention and understanding as moving day approaches can help them feel less frustrated and fearful.
Talk openly about moving. Children can be masters at imagining the worse. You can help by reassuring them that their routines will stay the same at your new home and that all their belongings are coming with them, but only if it’s true. Let them know what to expect come moving day and allow them to make some choices, such as what items they can carry with them, what clothes they get to wear, etc.
Visit your new community ahead of time, if possible. Visiting the new town or city they’ll be moving to can help a child get excited about the move. For instance, are there nearby parks and other fun things to do? If you’re moving a distance, try teaching them a bit about their new home. Most towns and cities now have community websites, many with videos.
Pack the kids’ stuff last. Avoid packing up a child’s bedroom until you absolutely need to. That way, your child has a familiar place to retreat to as the rest of the house is put in boxes. Let them help pack their personal belongings and give them free rein for labeling or drawing on the boxes.
Most importantly, be patient with your child, who, despite your best efforts, might remain anxious about the move even after you’ve unpacked. They’ll adjust eventually, but it may take some time to process.
For more great tips on moving with kids or to talk with one of our agents about wine country real estate for sale, contact St. Helena Real Estate today.