New Kid on the Block: Moving With Children
Port Aransas, TX. - Moving is a major change for all members of a family. Adult responsibilities weigh heavily when keeping track of all the tasks needed to make a move go smoothly. If you have children, this may be a difficult time to focus on their problems, too, but it’s also one of the most crucial times to keep their concerns in mind.
Sometimes what seems like a major disruption to grownups is viewed as an adventure to the kids. Still, changing homes can also upset feelings of stability (in the case of younger children) and belonging (in the case of teens). These are special concerns for these age groups.
The most important thing a parent can do is maintain normal routines as much as possible – and when it isn’t possible, to let the kids know that apprehension about a big life change is normal, too. Try to keep calm about the move yourself, and your children will be more likely to follow your lead. It is advisable to be open about what’s happening and how everyone feels about it.
This means keeping your kids in the loop at each stage of the move. They don’t have to get a vote, but it helps everyone for them to get increasingly used to the idea of this change. Bring them along when you look at houses, make them familiar with the new area you’re moving to, and investigate its attractions (including the athletic or extra-curricular offerings that appeal to your kids). Exploring some of this on the Internet is a good way to relate your relocation to an activity they already enjoy.
Encourage your children to express any worries, and do what you can to reassure them. If you went through similar experiences as a child, you can share how you dealt with it – if it was easy, so much the better, and if it was hard, your children will know they’re not the only ones who have ever had to deal with change.
Other neighborhood kids may grow distant when they know a friend is leaving. This is hurtful to your own children, but try and explain that some kids aren’t yet mature enough to handle it another way, and that it isn’t your kids’ or even the others’ fault.
Minimizing transitions and heading off family disputes are each essential to a smooth move with children. Try and arrange visits to the new school and meetings with the new teachers before the school year or semester starts. When you have more than one child, make bedroom assignments in the new house as soon as possible to avoid sibling strife (comfort, privacy and age seniority are all issues of kid politics that it is sometimes easy for grownups to forget).
Above all, be open and patient. If you pay the right attention, you will be letting your children know that, move or no move, the most important people in their life aren’t going anywhere.
Jannine is one of more than 40,000 members of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, who have attained the Accredited Buyer’s Representative designation. The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is designed for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients. Having an ABR® can guide you through structuring your offer and negotiation strategy.
To receive a free copy of the REBAC-published “Homebuyer’s Toolkit,” call (361)688-0067.