A version of this article originally appeared on the Springs at San Antonio Apartments blog.
Kids are often more flexible about moving to a new city than their parents because they don’t have quite as much invested in their location. But they still get anxious about the “unknowns,” about saying goodbye to friends, and about having to give up much of what’s familiar to them.
Here are 6 tips to start young kids off on the right foot and get them excited about the moving process and about their new home.
- Get kids involved in the move. Give every child a list of tasks (packing a portion of their dresser or organizing their toys – nothing too extensive) so that they’re part of the activity of moving, not just a bewildered bystander.
- Get out a map and show your kids where they’ll be living; mark it with a pushpin. This can help kids see, in a more tangible way, where they’re going. Remember that a new city is just a concept to them, so the more “real” you can make it, the more comfortable they’ll be.
- Do research to find family-friendly attractions you’ll take the kids to when you get to your new city. For those moving to Corpus Christi, that might include the Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History and one of the city’s many beaches. Most will have kid-focused activities that they can read about online. Use a calendar to pencil in tentative dates when you’ll visit.
- Depending on their ages, some kids won’t understand that many cities share the same features. Remind them that some of the things they love about their current city will also be in the new city, like restaurants (chains like Applebee’s or Pizza Hut, for instance), parks, swimming pools, libraries and toy stores.
- Ask them create a scrapbook. Find pictures of the new city and its attractions on the internet; print the pictures and use them to start a scrapbook to which they can add images, thoughts and ideas. Include a page titled “What I’m Most Excited About” where they can list activities they’re looking forward to.
- If you already have a home picked out, identify which bedroom will be your child’s, then let him or her help you determine where furniture will be placed, how you’ll decorate the room, and create a list of new items you may want or need to add.
Getting kids excited about their new surroundings is all about giving them as much information as much as you can about the journey and the destination. Use these tips to create a sense of adventure and to calm any anxiety your child might have about the move.