There’s no way around it, moving is a huge deal that comes with many lifestyle changes and unique challenges along the way. Even if you’re moving to a great place and you’ve done the best you can to prepare and make the process go as smoothly as possible, you might find that your family is still struggling to adjust once you’ve settled down. Everyone has a lot to get used to, especially younger children who will be starting at a new school. Whether you’re planning a big move and want to look ahead or you’re currently having a tough time after a move, let’s go over ten ways you can help your family adjust to a major move.
Starting off the process by giving your family reasonable expectations for the move is crucial. It can also be a good idea to take your family to the place you’re planning to move to before you actually move. Let yourselves get used to more than just your house. Visit the local restaurants and parks, and drive by the school your kids will be attending. Make the new area feel like a safe space for everyone by helping them to see what a great place it is.
Find a realtor or company that specializes in the region or state you’re relocating to, since it’s likely they’ll have a better understanding of the market. Venterra, for example, is a real estate company that focuses on Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennesee, Kentucky, and Texas, providing comprehensive knowledge about moving within the southern United States. Most major US cities have unique real estate markets, so expertise is key.
It’s easy for kids to feel disconnected and scared about a decision that will change a lot of things about their lives that they didn’t have any input in. Try to find ways to give them a little control over their situation and to make choices about the move. Helping them to design or choose their bedroom or letting them pick our activities to do after the big move are good places to start.
Providing some stability is an important way to balance the instability and uncertainty that comes along with a move. Big transitions, like moving a toddler from a crib to a bed, should probably wait until you’ve settled in more and your family is comfortable in their new space.
Getting to know the place you live is one of the first things you should do after a big move, and there’s no better way to do it than finding all the most fun places to visit in your city. Talk to your spouse and children to get some insight into their interests and come up with at least a few things you can do after you arrive and show everyone what a great place you’ve moved to.
It can be easy to stop speaking to past acquaintences and pals after a move, but you can assist members of your family who may be missing their old friends by helping them stay in touch. Set up Zoom calls with your child’s best buds or buy them an online game where they can still play with their friends virtually.
No matter how you plan on making it to your new destination, you can make the trip feel like an event too. Sit down with your family members and find any tourist spots or interesting sights to visit along the way if you’re driving. Especially on long trips, breaking up travel with something enjoyable will help small children feel more excited about the journey.
Just because you’re excited about a move doesn’t mean everyone else is. While children show admirable resilience and strength when adjusting to new environments, that doesn’t make it easy. The transition to a new routine and a new place can be difficult, so let your family members feel sad or cry it out if they need to. Let everyone know that your new home is a safe space, and they can express any emotions they’re having freely.
If emotional issues persist with you or a family member, you might want to consider a therapist. Psychotherapy can seem scary, but it can be incredibly beneficial. It provides a safe environment to discuss issues with an objective observer who can offer advice. For those with unique issues or challenges, you can often find counselors with experience in your specific needs. For example, LGBT couples may want to seek out LGBT couple counseling, where they can work with someone who has a deeper understanding of the specific challenges that LGBTQ couples face. Young children struggling with gender identity or exploring whether or not they are a part of the LGBT community can also benefit from a therapist specifically trained to handle LGBT issues. Try to find a couples therapist or a counselor who feels right for your family by looking for someone with experience with your specific challenges around your new home.
Decorating can make an empty house feel like a real home. Make a day of going shopping to pick out some new décor. Houseplants can be a great way to liven up a space, and there are plenty that require little care. If you’re a pet owner, look into pet friendly house plants that allow you to bring some greenery into your home without risking your furry friend’s health. Even if you’re a beginner, you can find succulents that are famously easy to care for.
Change is difficult for everyone, and there are few changes that can bring about as much unfamiliarity as moving. Starting over in a new place, looking for new friends, and needing to find a new routine aren’t easy for anyone. Children have unique and significant adjustments to make and you may find they struggle emotionally with adapting. Luckily, there are plenty of resources and strategies out there to help ease your family into their living situation, and with some patience and commitment, you’ll likely find that you’re all enjoying your new home sooner rather than later.