by Kasia McDaniel
There was dead silence and big wide eyes as I looked at my kids. We had just told them we were selling our home and moving out of state and then the tears started – on both sides.
“Why do we have to move?”
“We are moving for both Mommy’s and Daddy’s jobs,” we said.
It was heartbreaking to tell them. We knew how much they loved their friends and this would be a first move for them. We explained that we, the parents, would also have to make new friends and find new places to play and new restaurants. The tears rolled even more until we started to talk about the new town. We said we need help finding a new house and new playgrounds, new schools. That got their attention because they love to look at new houses. They then started daydreaming about what the new house would look like and what it had to have.
Get the kids involved
Of course, the next step was to get the house ready to sell. With three kids, I knew this would be a challenge. The single best piece of advice I could give when it comes to moving with kids is to get them involved. It can be as easy as having them look up the new town online and create a list of playgrounds, schools and places to visit. Turn it into a trip where you act like a tourist and find all the things that would draw people to the area.
As for the house selling portion, explain there will be some changes in the house when it goes on the market. Explain there will be people coming in and you have to keep it clean. Let them choose a few favorite toys and books they can’t live without and store/pack the rest away to help declutter the home. My favorite part of the move was when the moving truck pulled up with our treasures at the new home and the kids got to unpack their toy boxes. It was like Christmas all over again! They were content playing with their long-lost toys while we unpacked the rest of the boxes.
If you are moving closer to grandparents, they can help watch the kids or entertain them by taking them exploring in the new town. Sometimes the parents need a few hours to get a room set up without kids interrupting every few minutes because they are bored and the TV isn’t hooked up yet.
The kids can also be a great tour guide when their grandparents come over. Let them show grandma and grandpa where their new school will be, the hospital, the church or their favorite new restaurant. That way, when they talk to their grandparents who live further away, the grandparents can envision the town and their experiences. It is also a great way for them to make new memories like visiting the ice cream shop or bakery.
Kids are resilient and will roll with the punches as long as they see that you are reacting to the move in a positive way. New places give them a chance to make new memories. You can make it easier on them (and you) by including them in some of the decisions and perhaps involving the grandparents to help make the transition smoother into a new home.
Kasia McDaniel, a Home Stager and Certified Interior Decorator at Blue Diamond Staging can be reached at 910-745-0608 or by visiting www.bluediamondstaging.com