You’re moving to a new Florida home. You have kids.
How do you escort them — and yourself — through the experience while ensuring everyone retains their sanity and continues to speak to each other? No easy answers. We’re all different.
There are helpful tactics, however. Check our suggestions for guiding your household’s youngest members through this transition.
Sell the Move
Not only do you (probably) need to sell your current home, you also need to “sell” kids who’re old enough to understand, on why you’re uprooting them in the first place. Change often is out of our control. Maybe you don’t want to move either!
Begin by discussing the move with kids. Be honest and generous with information. Answer their questions. Dealing with the challenges of a headstrong toddler? That “terrible two” may be a breeze to move compared to your 14-year-old, who won’t want to be pried from his or her social circle.
Be ready to deal patiently with positive and negative reactions. You’ll have to decide the to-move-or-not-to-move-during-the-school-year dilemma. We can’t help with that. But, a deadline or new job may make the decision for you.
Get Kids Involved
Keep them updated on moving plans and timing. We don’t mean only status reports. Share what you’re learning and considering (within reason, of course. Little ears don’t need to know some things).
Let them hang out with you while you search real-estate sites, or, while you download the latest batch of potential-home photos from a real estate agent in your new location.
Get the kids’ opinions along with yours:
“What would you like your new bedroom to look like?”
“If we get a pool, will you help take care of it?”
Tips for Toddlers
And for those a wee bit older, like pre-school and pre-K. This age group should stay with Grandma or a babysitter on moving day. Everyone in the family will be happier for it. Well before you get to that point, don’t pack a child’s toys, books or clothes without explaining why you’re packing them — then let the child help you pack a few things.
Postpone major milestones, if you can. Preparing to move won’t mix with potty-training. Once you’ve moved, keep familiar routines in place, to ease kids’ acclimation.
Tips for ‘Tweens
And elementary- and middle-schoolers. One of the biggest things you can do in advance for this age group is to make sure all academic, sports and/or medical records are transferred smoothly to their new schools. If your ‘tween is active in extracurricular activities, have possibilities lined up in your new location — a few sports leagues, or dance troupes to visit and choose from.
Moving Tips for Teens
Let’s be positive! Maybe your teen(s) wants to move, or is excited about it. Continue to communicate. If you and your teen have similar feelings about the impending move, it could be a chance to share the experience in a more meaningful way.
Moving also is a good rehearsal for adulthood, where change often is the only constant. If you must move during the school year, consider allowing a teen to stay with other family members or friends in your soon-to-be-former town, in order to complete the year.
Looking to move your family to Florida? As Florida’s Custom Home Builder, ICI Homes can help you find the perfect family-friendly home. Click here to begin.