Depending on your situation and their personalities, your kids may respond to the prospect of selling your home in a variety of ways. According to an East Bay Realtor, some may look forward to the change with excitement. But in many cases, they may respond in a negative manner. Especially if this is the only home your child has ever known, talking about moving may upset them. Older kids may feel resentful about leaving their friends and community. Younger children may feel confused and disoriented. Here are some ideas for selling your house and moving as a family without too much disruption or negativity.
Talk to them about your plans well in advance.
Part of what is so disruptive about moving is that it can seem, to a child, to come out of nowhere. One minute they are enjoying your daily routine – and the next, everything changes. What you feel to be just another life change may look to them like a cataclysmic alteration. So, work them into it slowly. Talk to them in advance and explain what the process will be like. Give them a chance to process their feelings, ask questions, and express their concerns.
Focus on the positive.
If they are only thinking about what they will miss, the prospect will continue to seem dreary. But help them switch their attention to the things they have to look forward to. Maybe there will be more social opportunities in the area you’re moving to. Perhaps they will be closer to other friends or family they love. You can also get them invested in house-hunting so they feel that the decision is something they can own. If you’ve already settled on a new residence, spend some time showing it to your kids, either in real life or online, and start conversations about what life there will be like. Maybe they can work with you on picking out which will be their room. Or talk to them about good ways to organize furniture and other possessions in the new house. When planning your new home purchase, be aware of the best mortgage rates today, so you know what you can afford and the kind of homes to look for.
Have your children helped with the process?
Your kids may feel as though things are happening that are beyond their control and that there’s nothing they can do about it. They may also be frustrated if they are uncertain about what is going on, or anxious about not knowing what will happen next. You can alleviate some of their worries and frustration if you loop them into the conversations, and even invite them to help with some of the decision-making. Get their feedback when you look at different properties. Have them help stage the house for viewings. And when it’s time for the actual move, invite them to help with the packing, especially when it comes to their own belongings.
Find ways to keep smaller children occupied away from the house on moving day.
Especially children who are younger or more sensitive might find the actual physical moving stressful. No matter how well you have prepared them, little ones may not be fully aware of what is happening, only that strangers are coming in and out, removing their things. It will be easier on them, and probably on everyone else involved if you can arrange for them to stay with a trusted friend or family member, or professional caregiver, when the movers are at your house. It might be a good idea not to have smaller children present while you are showing the home, either, since it might be upsetting for them and distracting for you and your buyers.
It is understandable if your kids are less than enthusiastic about the move. Remember, this is understandable, and they need time to process both the idea and the reality of change. Be supportive and give them time, let them express their feelings, and as much as possible allow them to participate in decision-making so they won’t feel powerless.
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