Moving can be a very stressful experience for children. Whether across town or across the country, children will be faced with saying goodbye to old friends and the fear of making new ones. Comforting routines will have to be re-forged. The security of their room, their stuff, their house, their neighborhood – all of that will be disrupted. Luckily, however, there are steps that parents can take to ease the transition to a new home.
- Talk with your children about the move. Include them in discussions about what they are looking for in a new home. If you’re moving within the same town, make visits to their new neighborhood to familiarize them about its location and amenities before moving day. Involving your children helps them to feel more like active participants in the move, and less like it is being forced upon them.
- If your children are young, be sure to explain every step of the moving process. For example, when you are packing up their toys, make sure they understand that you aren’t throwing them away and that a reunion with their toys will happen very soon. Try to put yourself in their shoes, and anticipate what they likely will find upsetting or confusing. Simple things can make a young child feel more comfortable in their new home, like arranging the furniture in a similar way, keeping up with household routines, and fun activities like using role playing or toys to act out the move in advance.
- After moving day, keep in mind that it will take time for your child to adjust. First focus on helping your children get settled. Unpack their room(s) before tackling other rooms. Take them on a tour of their new school to meet their teachers. If there are attractions nearby, visit them to boost the “fun” factor of your new home. If you live close to your old home, allow your child to have friends over for a playdate. The opportunity to introduce their new home and neighborhood to a friend may help a child feel more like they belong.
If you are relocating to the Harrisonburg area, there are many attractions that appeal to children. Visiting Harrisonburg’s award winning Explore More Discovery Museum is a must-do for preschool and elementary-aged children. A Dream Come True playground is an accessible and inclusive playground with many unique and one-of-a-kind features. Outdoor opportunities abound, including hiking at the Shenandoah National Park, visiting the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, and exploring numerous tourist caverns, including the largest and most popular cavern on the East Coast, Luray Caverns. If you would like to know more about what the Shenandoah Valley can offer to your children, speak with your Funkhouser real estate agent.