Moving is a part of life. Studies show that approximately 10% of children aged 1-14 move at some point in a year. The study goes on to say that of these kids, approximately one-third of these kids will have to change schools. How a child adapts is dependent on a few things like age, their disposition and a huge factor is how we as parents prepare them for the move. Let’s look at ways that we can make moving with children not stressful but very successful.
In our area of Orangeville, we do have a great many people moving from the cities like Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto to move to a quieter slower paced lifestyle so we have seen many children completely relocate over the years. One of the most important things is to be honest and open with your children no matter the age. News flash those pre-schoolers are very perceptive and can pick up on whispers and stress in the household. Communication is key in ANY situation in life and especially with children. Let’s look at different age groups of children and how we can eliminate as much stress and anxiety as possible for each group.
Babies can definitely pick up on your stress level so it is important to make sure you are in control of your move. They obviously are not understanding what is necessarily going on but they could certainly use some extra snuggles and play time. Try to keep their new room in your new Orangeville home as similar to their old room. Keeping to their regular nap and sleep routines is important as well to ensure a smooth transition.
You would be very surprised at how much a move can impact the preschool aged child. This is an age where open dialogue is important. You must talk about the move in a very positive manner. This is an age where children are obsessed with boxes. This is a perfect time to give your little helper many stickers and have the help “label” the boxes. This maybe a time to take your little one to the new Orangeville playground closest to your new home and let them play for a bit to get familiar with their new surroundings. A great park for your child to play in is EveryKids Park.
This age group requires you to be very strategic when packing up their room. Leave their favourite books, toys and bedding to the very last items to be packed and then have their things to be some of the first things to get unpacked at the new Orangeville home.
This is typically the age group that can be the most stressful for children and moving. As it has been said over and over, having open dialogue with your school aged child about the move is imperative. This age group has formed a friend group and they do not want to leave their pals. This is where you most definitely want focus on the positives of the move such as moving to a bigger home or having a bigger yard to play in. This is an age group that it may be nice to organize a “moving” party to give them a chance to say good-bye to their friends. You can set them up with a plan for emailing or facetime with their friends.
Many people tend to move in the summer time if at all possible as to not disrupt their children’s current school year. If this is the case, make a plan to tour the school and meet the teachers before the actual school year begins. You can call the Upper Grand District School Board or Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board to make arrangements or call your child’s school directly. This would be an ideal time to enroll your children in clubs, summer camps or team sports to get to know other children their age before school starts.
You will definitely want your children involved in some of the decisions with the home like which room they prefer, what colour to paint and decorate their own room.
This is a hard age to move out of their current school district and into a new area. This can be very traumatic for some personality types and for some they are so looking forward to a new place to meet new people. Keep your teenager involved in the moving plans and even so much as the buying process. Have them come look at potential Orangeville homes. Have them offer some input. As professional realtors recognize this is a very difficult age, we tend to draw them into the conversation when touring properties to make them feel like their opinions are heard and do very much matter. Depending on their age, this maybe a time to start a new job in the area like at a local grocery store like Sobeys or fast food establishment like McDonald’s or Tim Hortons. They have a chance to meet other youths their age and maybe have a familiar face before school starts. It is very important if they are involved in groups, teams or organizations, to find a similar one in their new home town to get involved in.
Plans should be made to have their old friends come to visit or for them to visit their friends’ homes if at all feasible over the year as they transition into meeting new friends.
In every age group, one common theme is communication. Focus always on the positive of the move to the wonderful community. Try to understand their reservations about the upcoming move from their point of view. Try to keep everyone’s routine to limit as many disruptions as possible. And as a very last resort, look at bribery! I do recall as a teen my dad wanted to move to a rural setting and my mom was opposed. He promised a snowmobile if we sided with him. We had a wonderful winter living in the country side! These are all tips to eliminate the stress and plan for success when moving to Orangeville with children.