Kids don’t always deal well with change, and this can become a challenge when you’re preparing to move. If your kids have spent their entire lives in a single home, it’s hard to help them cope with selling this home and preparing to move.
Think of this from your kid’s perspective. He or she has only known this one place. It’s hard for them to comprehend all of the benefits of moving. If you’re moving far, they might be introduced to a different school, and they might be further from friends and family. That’s hard for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for children.
Luckily, there are legitimate strategies you can try to help your kids cope with selling your home. The key here is to start as early as possible. Kids don’t usually like surprises like this, so the sooner you can introduce them to the idea, the better.
1. Have the Conversation Early
The first way to help your kids cope with a move is to simply start the conversation early. As soon as you know you’ll be moving and selling the home, have a conversation with them about this. Talk about the move often leading up to it so kids know this is a real change.
Don’t be dissuaded if your child immediately is upset at this news. Kids thrive on repetition and routine, so it’s okay if they’re initially upset about having to leave the house they’ve known. This is why it’s key that you start talking early. Because you’ve started the conversation early, they have time to ask questions about this process.
2. Explain the Positives
Kids often jump right to the negatives when faced with moving. If you’re moving far, this is especially true. For example, they might immediately feel sadness at leaving their current school or having to say goodbye to friends. These are certainly sad things, but they aren’t the only things worth focusing on.
You can help children think about the positive sides of their move as well. For instance, you can share some information about their new home, town, or part of the country. You might be moving closer to family or other loved ones, and that’s a reason to look forward to this change. Reassure your kids that you’ll be there for this process to help them along the way.
3. Use Books and Simplified Explanations
One easy way to help younger kids understand is by using books and simple explanations. There are a number of children’s books that help kids understand what it means to move to a new home, and these are a great resource. When explaining what’s happening, don’t go into too much detail that might confuse them.
4. Involve Kids with Packing
One area that kids can help with selling your home is in packing their own things. Involve them in this process so they feel like they’re in control. If they’re old enough, help them decide what things to keep and what to give away.
When packing their things, make sure you keep track of where they’re stored. Any must-have toys and items should be kept separately to keep kids comfortable during this time. Unpacking these familiar items for kids once you’re in your new destination can be a big help.
5. Stay Connected After the Move
Finally, remember to stay connected with your original community after your move. Don’t assume that because you’re in the new home, your kids are officially acclimated to the change. They still might have lingering doubts and feelings about this new place.
Showing your kids that they can still keep those ties they had to their old home and their community will help them feel less worried. For example, you might let your kids call their friends on the phone or talk to family members over video chat. Maintaining this contact will help them transition into their new home.
Moving as a Family
Selling your home can be exciting for the entire family, but this also comes with a lot of stress. Kids in particular struggle with change, so make sure they’re coping with this new reality with these ideas above. As long as you approach the situation calmly and with care, your kids will get off to a great start in your new home.
Kids often feel really attached to the homes they’ve spent time in. They might not understand why you have to sell your home, but you can help them through this process one step at a time.