Tips for Helping Children Prepare for Relocation

Relocating is hard for children. For some children, just the idea of moving might be so traumatic that is seems their world is collapsing around them. However, with the right parental support and guidance, this fear can be replaced by a sense of excitement and adventure. Remember: a move that’s easier for the children becomes a move that’s easier for you, too.

While our suggestions for organizing a successful move with children are particularly aimed at a family who is moving to a new Toronto neighborhood from another part of the city or outside it all together, but many of them would be helpful to families who are moving much shorter distances as well.

Involve Children Early on in the Relocation Process

Tell your children about the planned move as soon as the decision is final. Be prepared to discuss details and answer questions about the new location. Use maps and websites to help introduce the children to their new home.

 Inform and Involve

Explain to the children the reasons why the family is relocating to a new place and explain what the advantages will be, as well as the disadvantages. Children will accept a move more readily if they are able to perceive tangible advantages for themselves: a larger bedroom or backyard, for example

Listen to Their Feelings and Share Yours

Children will need emotional support during this time. Along with sharing your own feelings of apprehension or uncertainty, make sure that listen to their feelings as well. Negative response to an unexpected or unwelcome move is common and can be expected, as children often express feelings of vulnerability through anger. Do your best to respond to these negative emotions with patience and understanding.

Maintain a United Front

Children are very good at sensing parental discord. It is far easier for them to accept the move if both parents appear to be in agreement about the subject.

Make Family Time

Enormous workloads are the norm during a move, but don’t lose sight of the important things. Make sure to be there for your family and make time for everyone.

Deal With Suspended Friendships

Teenagers may have a particularly tough time with moves because of the established friendships they may be forced to give up.  (“Do I have to go?”) Listen to their fears and concerns. If possible, try to time the move to cause the least disruption to school schedules. Now is not the best time to discuss call frequency restrictions – just assure your teenagers that yes, they will be able to call their friends after they have moved away.

Bring the Children to See Their New Home Before Moving in

The relocation will be easier and more fun for the children if they have some idea of what to expect ahead of the move. If visiting in advance isn’t an option, try to make a movie of their new house, school, neighborhood, etc.

Establish Connections in Your new Community

Find out about the community centres, music programs, team sports programs, Scouts, churches or other organizations that involve your children’s interests. Try to line up some activity for each child before the move to help them make friends and establish ties in their new community. Your Sage Real Estate sales representative will be happy to help.

Ask the Relocation Moving Company to Set up the Children’s Rooms First

It will help the children feel at home right away. (Make sure you direct the movers accordingly before they pack the moving van.)

Drive Your Kids to Their new School

Even the teenagers! If possible, be home when they return so that you can discuss any concerns they may have.

Relocating to a new place can be stressful especially if you are relocating with children. Planning the move can be tiresome, however, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. There are many companies that offer relocation services in Canada, these relocation specialists will make moving to your new neighborhood easy and enjoyable.