Moving in general is never easy and the transition can be difficult for you and your family, especially if you have children. Try and remember to accentuate the positive aspects and to make it a move-forward opportunity that they can be involved in before and after the move. It’s not about what they are leaving behind but what new things will be ahead for them, new experiences, new friends, new opportunities, and a new chapter in their lives.
Be honest and upfront
Explain everything in ways your kids can understand about what is going on, what’s about to happen, and explain this as an adjustment the whole family will be going through together. So keep the conversation channels open. This will make the kids feel empowered, secure and also part of the decisions.
Allow them to have a “role” in the process during the packing up and the unpacking. Let them plan a “goodbye party”. Use this as a positive way to say their goodbyes and exchange contact information with their friends.
Take the time to research area attractions prior to your move. Learn where kids can participate in their favorite activities. The Lehigh Valley has so much to offer for anyone’s interests young or old, seasonal or on-going. Have the children plan a new adventure or pick a new place to visit each weekend and then go check it out together as a family.
Listening and understanding is key here. Children, of course, are different, and no two will handle a move quite the same. Be prepared for all types of reactions. Let them share their feelings and emotions before and after your move. It may take them awhile to adjust, not only to their new surroundings but to their new school and social activities. Reassure them that in time they won’t be the “new” kid anymore.
Keep the connection, I mean the stability!
These days, especially, to tweens, and teens, it’s about internet connections, Wi-Fi, social connecting, video game accessibility, and television. Contact with old friends helps a child stay connected to a familiar support system. Keep this positive so it’s productive but not a crutch or reason not to get out there and explore their new surroundings for themselves.
Also, try to maintain regular routines for meals and bedtime to give kids a sense of familiarity. Best to “clean house” and discard old toys and unused articles when they feel more in control of their new environment. But this could overwhelm some children. So, do this delicately and timely.
For the younger ones, hold off from making big changes, like getting rid of any old bedroom furniture, which may provide a sense of comfort in the new house, and avoid toilet training or going from a crib to a bed.
Once you’re in your new home, try to get your child’s room in order before turning your attention to the rest of the house. And, while the dust starts to settle, any attempt to make your home just as comfy as you left it, will surround your family with a sense of security and familiarity.
Now that you’ve moved in, reach out to the many local Lehigh Valley social organizations, churches, and community centers. If your family was involved with similar groups before, participating in such activities in the new location can increase feelings of familiarity.
Encourage children to become involved in a sports team or a school club, or depending on the time of year you plan your move, get involved with the local swim club, or summer camps. The Lehigh Valley is very well known for its organized community summer programs. There is a program for every age and for every interest.
Don’t forget to pause once an awhile and just breathe. Realize your stress will show and will be felt as well. So take care of yourself too. Be patient. And, whatever you do, don’t forget to give Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the ……well you get the idea……your new address!
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My name is Barbara Bottitta and I am a Realtor/Partner with Keller Williams Real Estate and team leader for the Barb Bottitta Team of Lehigh Valley Home Experts. Our team of professionals include a listing and closing specialist so that from the starting line to the dotted line you won’t find another agent or team that provides better service, works harder – or cares more – than my team. My husband, Lou, and I have lived in Lower Macungie for over 30 years; our grown children attended Emmaus High School and we feel fortunate that our grandson is growing up in the Lehigh Valley as well!
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