Unless you’re moving to a new home within your current Pittsburg CA neighborhood, this transition can be both exciting and terrifying for your school-age children.
In addition to leaving a home they just might love, they’re leaving their friends, their playgrounds, their school, their favorite neighbors, family members who lived nearby – everything they’re familiar with except for you and their siblings.
How can you make this transition fun?
First, by creating a sense of adventure. Get them excited about what they’ll find in their new community. Do a little on-line research to see what attractions await them. Find out about day-trips the family can take once you’re settled in your new home.
Next, if they’re old enough, get them involved in choosing your new home. Discuss it with them and have them help you write your lists of “must have” and “would like to have” features for your agent. Right now they might not be allowed to accompany you on showings, due to the virus. But if they are – and if they’re old enough – take them along once you’ve narrowed your choices.
Your kids might notice details you missed, so listen to them and consider their opinions.
Once you’ve moved, involve them in decorating and arranging their new rooms, so they’re creating a space that’s truly “theirs.”
Take time to get acquainted with others in the neighborhood – especially those who have children in the same age group as yours. Invite people over so the kids can get acquainted in a non-threatening environment.
Find activities that your kids will love. Whether it’s an organized group such as Scouts or weekly trips to the pool or water-slide, put them in places where they can make new friends.
If the schools are open, take them there ahead of time and let them meet the teachers, coaches, and others who will play a part in their daily lives.
Lastly, let them feel free to vent their feelings. Telling kids to “Get used to it” or “Get over it” when they’re mourning the loss of their friends, community, and old home, is a sure way to cut off communication and make you all feel miserable.
Instead, let them know that the move is scary for you too. Tell them that you also miss old friends and old places – and that it’s normal to feel the way they feel. But now is the time for a new adventure.
At the same time, don’t let them wallow in their despair. If they “must” feel sorrowful, tell them to set aside 10 minutes each morning and afternoon to grieve – then get on with finding what’s good about their new home. You might even join them in that, so they feel the connection with you.
Push them to make the effort, and help them as they learn to love living in their new community.