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Moving can be a difficult time for the entire family, but it can be particularly difficult for children. They may feel a sense of abandonment by leaving behind their friends, family, home, etc. Yet, there are some things that parents can do to help their children better handle all of the changes.
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5 Ways to Include Your Kids in the Decision Making Process
Make it a Family Decision
Although it may not always be possible to leave it up to the children to decide whether or not the family moves, they can still have some voting power when it comes to choosing the actual house that you all will be moving into. To make a democratic family decision, the entire family can sit down and discuss the pros and cons of each home. Parents need to keep in mind that they should only use this option if they are committed to giving their children equal decision-making power and reaching a consensus or compromise that suits everyone.
Let Them Choose Their New Room
To go along with the above idea, it should be taken into consideration that some children might want particular features in their room. If you’re using a realtor service, like Mark Fox Company, then make sure that your agent is aware of what your children would like too. While parents will need to weigh factors like cost of living and commute, having input into where they will live will be helpful for children.
Give Children Choices
Another choice that children should be given, if possible, is when to move. There might be important events coming up in their life, like birthdays and holidays, that they would prefer to celebrate one last time among their friends and family members before moving. Older children might feel especially sensitive to the idea of moving, and so some adjustments to the moving plan could be made for them. For example, a teenager might be allowed to spend the rest of the school year or summer with a good friend or relative and then join the family later so that they can have that time to transition.
Let Them Participate in Packing
This has varied effectiveness. Older children are more likely to be better at packing but less likely to want to help out while younger children may be eager to participate but may be poor packers. All the same, it is important for children to feel some ownership in the process by helping get the old home ready for the move. One good thing that children can do, especially younger ones, is be assigned to pack up their own toys and decorate the bins or boxes that go into them. Doing that will keep them busy and effective in a much more enjoyable way.
Cultivating this sense of ownership extends to the new home. The child should be able to do a few things immediately to make their room feel more like home. This could mean decorating their own room and deciding where their bed, dressers and other items go as well.
Parents who are sensitive to their children's concerns and emotions are more capable of helping them settle in and adjust. By giving them choices, they will also feel more in control of what is going on around them too.
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