Our Guide to Moving with Children

Posted by Ryan Dutka . on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 1:51pm.

Moving with Children in Edmonton

Moving can be difficult for both children and parents. While the challenge for parents is more in the workload and making all the necessary arrangements, for the kids it’s more simply about the distress that comes from moving away from the familiarity and comfort of their home and all that comes along with it. Edmonton is an increasingly popular destination for young families these days, and there are plenty of Edmonton homes for sale.

Experts suggest it takes 6 months on average for children to acclimate to life in a new home, and there’s plenty you can do to both make moving less traumatic for your children AND smooth their transition into the new home.

The first tip is to inform them of the coming move WELL in advance. At least one month before the actual move is a good guideline. This gives children the chance to process the news in full, as well as get the very likely protestations and voiced displeasure out of the way early. Make it out to be a family event that involves the whole family, and it’s a good idea to start by scheduling a family meeting to break the news in an environment where everyone is present and welcome to voice their opinions and / or concerns.

Next, it’s advisable to pack up certain household items while children are asleep or out of the home, and most particularly their toys. Also, if it is possible, it’s good to have someone watch the kids for a day to allow you to pack effectively and in an undisturbed, timely manner. Be proactive in choosing what should be kept and what should be discarded before moving, consulting with children extensively before making any what-to-discard decisions.

If your children are old enough, involving them in the finding an Edmonton homes for sale process and asking them what it is they like or don’t like about a home or location is also a good idea.

Other tips for moving with children:

  • Arrange a ‘See you soon / Not Goodbye’ party for the kids and their friends from the current neighbourhood. Make sure everyone exchanges contact information, and take photos of your kids with their friends. Make sure contact means are exchanged, and your kids should be able to maintain old friendships while transitioning to their new surroundings and making new ones.
  • Have a moving sale, and involve the children in the sale and explain how it’s important to not become overly attached to material possessions. Allow them to spend any money recouped for the sale of any of their belonging sold.
  • Research your new neighbourhood together, and be very encouraging with them when they discover any aspect of it that is very appealing to them.
  • Involve them in ‘room planning’ for the new home.
  • Create a photo album of the ‘old home’ and make them copies of it to keep in their new bedrooms.
  • Consider buying the children a toy they want or some other desired possession to both distract them from the move and raise their spirits in general if they’re down.
  • Prepare a ‘comfort’ box for each child that contains their most prized and comforting possession, like teddy bears for instance, and have it ready for them in the new home for the first night there.
  • Map out the move for the children. This allows them to have a more definitive understanding of how they’re actually relocating, rather than giving them the perspective of their simply ‘disappearing / reappearing’ in an entirely different place.

Another piece of advice is to not be in a rush to unpack your belongings. It’s helpful to allow children to take in their new living space in it’s ‘spacious’ form to get an appreciation of it and what it can means for them. Once you have unpacked, don’t delay exploring and getting to know your new town and neighbourhood once you arrive there. If there’s something your children are especially enthusiastic to see or do in the area then you’ll do well to take them there as soon as possible.

From there you can and should resume household routines and schedule as soon as possible. This will make it clear to children that everything is ‘back to normal’ and that there lives haven’t experienced nearly the level of upheaval that they might have been expecting.

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