Buying a new home is a big enough step in itself. Factoring children into the equation is a whole other scenario that impacts the home to home relocation process and if your old residence is the one that they (your kids) grew up in then you've got a lot of emotions at play. As Red Deer community realty professionals with years of experience in finding family households new homes we understand how exciting yet sensitive this process can be. In order to help provide our readers, some of you of which are currently seeking new homes in Red Deer, with advice on the entire home ownership transition we thought we'd provide some advice on this particular topic.
5 Tips on Moving to a New Home with Children:
1. Start by Holding an Early Family Meeting
We don't doubt that you have discussed the prospect of buying a new home with your children well in advance or at least the topic has come up frequently in passing. But holding an "official" family meeting is a great way to get the ball rolling and to help them understand how "real" it is. This meeting is where you fill your children in on the specifics and it creates a forum where they can voice their concerns (they WILL have some) and ask questions (they will have LOTS). For the most part kids know that they are not the decision makers here but by including their input in an official family meeting you make them an integral part of the process. In some circumstances their input may indeed impact the final decision and when they feel like their contribution is valued, they'll begin to get excited and will get behind the whole thing.
2. Give them Reign Over their New Room
Informing your kids that they will have relatively autonomous reign over decorating their new room is a great way to get them excited about buying and moving into a new home. You may have to resist your own Feng Shui urges on this one but by letting them flex their creative muscles with furnishings and wall color (paint or wall paper) choices you allow them the independence they need to feel as if they are an important part of the process (and they are!).
3. Tactical Family Fun with a Yard Sale Purge
Kids rooms are the hardest to transition into a new home. Parents often dream of piling it all up and tossing the enormous collection toys, books, and clothes/costumes into a bin and sending it off into the stratosphere. However convincing children to part with their sentimental (it's all sentimental to them) clutter is like parting the Red Sea, unless you tempt them with the prospect of turning old stuff into cold hard cash (which equals new stuff!). The way to accomplish this is by holding a good old fashioned yard sale and to give them their own retail space (table) to manage their portion of the affair. This is an effective way to help remove clutter collected by the kids and from the entire home so that when you move into your new residence you bring along less, freeing up space to settle in.
4. Get to Know the Neighborhood, Before You Arrive
Children often feel anxiety when the family buys a new home because it involves moving into a new neighborhood. New neighborhoods equal new neighbors, different playgrounds, strange corner stores, and kids that they don't know. Instead of leaving it up until moving day to begin the assimilation process, start the integration early. Weeks prior to moving into the new neighborhood, spend the weekends taking your children to various points of interest in the community. Have them play in the local playgrounds, have family night out to the local movie theater, and partake in activities at the local community center. Children are much better at making new friends than us grownups so when they do, they'll end up being the reason that you make your own friends near your new home too - their friend's parents!
5. Pre-Plan a Big House Warming Party
Even if the above recommendations work their magic in getting the kids excited about the big transition they will still feel the emotional strain of impending separation from friends and family that may no longer be within close proximity. To help ease this anxiety begin to plan a big housewarming party well in advance. Have them help with the guest list (as they would for their birthday party) so that they know within a week or two after moving into their strange new home familiar faces will come visit them. This presents them the opportunity to play mini-host in the new household, showing off their room and the rest to the "guests". Having long time friends and loved ones visit so soon will make the new residence feel just like, well, home.
You know your children best so of course only you could know the little things that will go a long way into making the transition easier on them, we simply hope to help with some well intentioned advice. If this article finds you before you've found your new home then please do contact Benedict Devlin today or browse our single family detached homes from our Red Deer MLS listings.