Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Making the Unfamiliar Familiar: Tips for Transitioning Kids to a New Home

movingMoving with kids is much more difficult than moving on your own. While adults tend to adjust quickly, realizing that their world is not ending, children aren't so quick to fall in love with their new homes. According to the staff at The Child Study Center of New York University, there are things that parents can do to help transition kids to a new home.

1.Get Out of the House

As busy as you are unpacking, organizing and decorating, do your best to get the kids out of the house. Exploring your new city can help children get used to their new place quicker. 

In fact, experts say that the act of exploring a new city gives children a place to go home to: their new house. It may be a mental game, but your children's' emotional stability is what you are most concerned about. 

2.Mini Decorators

It's tempting to paint your kids' rooms, put their things away and get them organized. Try to resist getting so hands on unless your children are simply too young to be of much help. For school-aged children, decorating can be just the thing that's needed to make a new house home. 

Let your child pick out a color for the walls, new bedding or even new toy shelves. The more you allow your children to make their new rooms their own, the faster they're going to fall in love with the new house.

Cockpit theme kids bedroom window

3.Get the Group Together

If you haven't moved hundreds of miles away, invite your children's "old" friends for a sleepover. Let your child show his old friends around his new neighborhood. 

If you did move hundreds of miles away, contact parents and ask them to allow their children to Skype with yours. Even a video chat can help kids touch base and feel better about moving so far away. 


No matter what time of year you move, you can get your kids involved in sports, clubs or activities that involve their peers. Sports, clubs and other activities give your children the opportunity to connect with their peers. 

Your children don't feel pressured to come up with things to talk about; the mere act of participating in the same thing provides ample fodder for conversation. 


No child adjusts at the same rate. Your support and patience will mean more to your children than anything else you can do for or with them. Don't lose your mind when your kids don't adjust as quickly as you think they should. 

Instead, sit down, talk to them, and find out what you can do to help. Moving can be a time of very real grief for your child, and grief comes with stages. Unless you know where your kid's head is at, you can't help.

Moving is stressful for you in more ways than one. Not only do you have to worry about packing, moving and unpacking, but you have to worry about fitting in at work, meeting new people, and finding new activities to participate in. 

On top of all of that, you have to worry about your kids. Try to remember what it was like for you as a child when you had to move house. Offer your support, be patient, and take your children on new adventures; they'll feel at home before you know it.

Robin Knight just relocated to San Francisco and used Movoto.com to shop for his new home.

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