In less than a week, we will be moving to our new home. We are all very excited and we are currently living amongst a pile of boxes. While we are looking forward to this “new life”, half of our family are not quite sure about “making the move”. This half is obviously our two children. I remember when I was their age, my parents used to move every year or so (they were part of the first generation of house flippers). I also remember how anxious I would get every time I had to leave my room, my house, my friends…
This is exactly what my older son, William, is currently living. He realizes that he will leave the daycare soon. Therefore, he won’t be seeing his friends anymore. He will also lose another of his “good” friends, Benjamin, who lives in front of our house. Since they are their very first friends, I can understand his reluctance to move. On top of that, he is losing “his” pool too. It’s obvious to see that he was about to cry when we had our first conversation about moving
So how do you handle your children’s feelings toward moving into a new house?
I’m a very thorough parent with my children. I am not the type of dad who will say that it’s grayish when it’s dark black. I would rather tell the truth right away and deal with the consequences before it’s too late.
The very first thing we did was to discuss the matter before putting up the “for sale” sign in front of our house. We advised our children that we will sell the house and move to another city. At first, they were quite excited since they didn’t realize that they would lose a part of their life at the same time. We also advised them that they will see people walking in our house and walking into their bedrooms. Just so they know about the whole process.
The second thing we did was to talk about the “after sale”. Where are we going to live? So we took them a few times with us over to the neighborhood that we were looking into. We showed them the advantages (we are living close to a mountain so we can ski, we have a zoo and we will have a much bigger land). We also showed that most of the things we had in our city (their activities, the libraries, parks, etc.) were also available in other cities too.
Then, we also visited a few properties with them. While it made our lives much harder to concentrate on the houses while watching our kids, we felt it was important for them to see that were visiting several houses before making our decision. We also took special attention to know what they liked and what they didn’t like in each home.
The final step was last week when we spent the morning at William’s future school. We visited the school together and he spent about an hour and a half with his future teachers. The school had organized this day for all the parents and children starting school this fall.
Overall, I think we did a great job but we keep talking about the new house and the moving so they are prepared next week for the big move. We make sure they use their voices to express their feelings but we also let them know that we are moving nonetheless.
It’s a bit heart-breaking but I think I will survive 😉
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