Today is the third component in our ongoing guest blogging. I’d like to welcome Alexis Hall. Alexis is a single mom to three kids. She created SingleParent.info to provide support and advice for the many families out there with only one parent in the household.
How to Make Moving With Children Easier and Happier for the Whole Family
Moving to a new home, and often, to a new city entirely, is simply a part of life. Making a move may feel simple when you’re single or a couple without kids, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. If your family is planning a move, know that it can be an overall positive experience using these tips to help along the way.
Finding Your Family Home
As you start searching, you may come to realize that your ideal home is different from what you wanted before having kids. Before making any big decisions, spend a little time researching the best prices and neighborhoods in your region. The average sale price for homes in Fairfield, CA, is $475,000.
With this information in hand, start your home search with a few key points in mind:
Get to Know the Neighborhood: The neighborhood your family ends up in is just as important as the house itself. Think about your family’s lifestyle and what matters the most to you. Do you want a neighborhood that is within walking distance to schools or parks, or are you OK with being in a less walkable neighborhood if the streets are quiet and ideal for children? Besides your own unique needs, there are several ways you can tell if a neighborhood is thriving and an overall good place to be. Drive or walk around to see if people are out on the streets walking or biking, if houses tend to look like they have been improved, and if you see churches and signs of city services.
Put Practicality Over Emotions: Buyers often fall in love with a home that feels just right, but then they realize that it doesn’t actually meet their family’s needs. Families with children should look closely at a home’s floor plan and yard. Think about whether you want all the bedrooms on the same level if you have small children, or if you want a flat yard for outdoor play. It’s completely OK to have a “feeling” about a house, but don’t let a feeling cloud your judgment.
Managing the Move
Moving can be scary and highly emotional for children. The best approach is to communicate about it with kids as soon as you know you’ll be moving and to keep the conversation going. Kids need to process their feelings about the change. One idea from Scholastic is to encourage them to write in a journal or draw pictures about the move. Kids who are old enough can also get involved in packing. Give them some independence in making choices about how they pack.
Don’t forget that while you are doing plenty of research into your new home and neighborhood, your children may not know what to expect. Spend some time helping your kids get familiar with the new area. Talk about what your new neighborhood has that they will love, and start exploring the area together, if possible. For young children especially, talk about what won’t be changing too. Make sure they know you’re bringing all of their possessions to the new home.
When you first move into the new house, unpack your children’s rooms first so they start to get a feel for their own space surrounded by things that are familiar. In the days and weeks to come, help kids adjust to the change by keeping your schedule as routine as possible. You can also do some special family activities in those early days to start creating positive memories in your new home and neighborhood. The Art of Happy Moving blog suggests going to your local library or setting up a lemonade stand to get to know the neighbors.
While moving with children isn’t always ideal, it doesn’t have to be traumatic. You know you’re making the right move, and it will be best for everyone in the long run. There will still be bumps in the road, but these tips will help your whole family bounce back and adjust with less stress.
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