One major challenge of moving houses is telling the kids about it. Most parents are afraid to do this. They wonder when the right time will be to share the information with the kids and how to do it.
When and how to tell your kids you are moving
If you have young kids, do not tell them about the move until you absolutely have to.
Children’s perception of time is not sophisticated enough yet and they will just be anxious. As soon as you tell your kids that the move is on, they begin to deal emotionally by saying goodbye to the people and things around them (this is a coping mechanism we all have to manage). As a result, kids who are about to move away are often not invited to parties. People around them do not invest in their relationships any more.
This happens to adults as well. While getting ready for one of our moves as a family, we discovered that the people around us considered it a form of betrayal or rejection and minimized their involvement in our relationship (at least they were honest enough to say that this was the reason).
My suggestion is to tell kids about a month before moving. Make sure to involve them with the packing so they take an active part in the move itself.
Be sure to tell your kids after you tell your friends. Children can let things slip and hearing that you are moving from the kids can trigger many unpleasant and unnecessary thoughts and feelings in your friends (Why didn’t you tell me?).
Do not think that be moving, you are destroying your kids’ life. Moving is not easy, but kids adapt very quickly to new situations. Do not bribe them with gifts or sweet-talk. If you feel guilty about the move, they will pick on it and take advantage of it. Their transition to the new house may then be difficult or take longer.
Sometimes, you have things that cannot wait until a month before and you have to get started earlier. I think it is best to tell your kids before you start making physical preparations to move. They can sense when something is changing. If they cannot explain it and do not understand it, they may become anxious, and trust me, you do not want them to be anxious. Managing an anxious child is way harder than moving to a new house.
As I mentioned above, your children may find it difficult to understand exactly when the move is going to be, so when you finally tell them, create some kind of a calendar to help them keep track of time. Also, use events that are meaningful to them as references. For example, say, “When we finish the school year” or “After Daddy’s birthday party”. This will help them relax, knowing things will be the same until these events arrive.
Join me week for the next moving house tip about getting to know your new place.
This post is part of the series Moving House Made Easy:
- Moving House Made Easy: Spring Cleaning
- Moving House Made Easy: Packing
- Moving House Made Easy: Telling the Kids
- Moving House Made Easy: The New Place
- Moving House Made Easy: Movers
- Moving House Made Easy: Pack a Holiday Suitcase
- Moving House Made Easy: Food
- Moving House Made Easy: Bills and Services
- Moving House Made Easy: Changing Address
- Moving House Made Easy: Just in Case
- Moving House Made Easy: Moving Day
- Moving House Made Easy: Unpacking
- Moving House Made Easy: Making the New Place Home