Zweiacker & Associates

Dear Jen . . . Easing The Anxiety of Moving

shutterstock_75370993_smallwebDear Jen,

My name is Brittany and my husband and I met when we came to school at Texas A&M.  We both assumed that we would get our degrees and start our careers and a family in a larger town.  We continue to see that sometimes God’s plan for us is not the same as our plan and He opened doors for both of us here in Bryan/College Station!  We’ve been here for 12 years now and can’t imagine calling anywhere else home!

We have two children ages 4 and 7 and discovered last spring that we are expecting a third child early next year!  We love our home and had no plans to move, but it will be a little too tight for 5 of us!  So, we have started looking at different neighborhoods to try to figure out what neighborhood feels right for our growing family.

It is getting close to time to let our kiddos in on our plans.  I’m just really concerned about how they will react.  This is the only home they have ever known!  We brought both of our babies home from the hospital to this home.  I’m feeling a little emotional about leaving  and I don’t want to upset my family.  Do you have any advice on how to make this easier on young children…and the grown ups?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

Brittany


Dear Brittany,

Congratulations on your upcoming new addition to your family!

I’m so pleased to have received your letter.  Following a few key steps when moving young children to a new home can make all of the difference in how they adjust.

The most important thing is that they do not find out by accident or by anyone but you and your husband.  Finding out accidentally can lead to fear and anxiety.  When they hear from you directly, this gives you the opportunity to provide love and show confidence and excitement about the move and to frame it in a way that feels safe.

For adults and children alike, it is often the thought of what you are leaving behind that produces the most stress and anxiety.  We advise parents to help keep the focus on the excitement of what is to come!  Here are a few ways to keep the focus in the right place:

  • You won’t want to overwhelm the children with taking them on too many showings. However, once you have narrowed down your choices with your Realtor or have made your final selection, bring your children along to see the home(s).  Talk about fun neighborhood features like pools or parks! Show them which room will be their room!  The goal here is to get them focused on the excitement of a new home and neighborhood.

  • Participate in some fun art projects that allow your children to use their imaginations on drawing their new home.  Regardless of age, once your child sees their new room, you can have them draw what it will look like after they move in.  Older children can work on the room layout or design while younger kiddos can create bright, fun pictures of their own new space!

  • Asking questions about family time in the new home helps keep the focus on what is to come and not what is being left behind.  What are some favorite family gatherings or activities?  If you celebrate Christmas, you can talk about where the Christmas tree will go.  If the home has a large covered back porch, you might ask about what types of fun projects you can do together outside.

These may seem like pretty basic ideas, but we find that when our clients follow these simple steps, it not only makes the transition much easier for children, but also decreases the stress and anxiety of the parents.  Stay focused on the excitement of this new chapter in your lives and it will all come together nicely.

Best Wishes,

Jen