Even though it can be very exciting and you may be moving for the best reasons in the world, there is no doubt that is also stressful. And that’s if you are an adult. For kids that stress is often even worse and it also often comes along with anxiety and sadness as well.
Including your children in the house hunting process can be very helpful in order to alleviate a lot of that. But there are right and wrong ways to go about it. Here are just a few tried and tested, helpful tips.
Tweens and teenagers usually make their way through home viewings with no risk of physical harm but that can’t always be said for the younger ones, especially energetic toddlers. This is where parents need to be honest – with themselves – about just how their child is likely to behave. If yours is a curious child who you just know won’t be able to resist opening doors, windows and/or closets and drawers, or running up and downstairs they may be best left with a sitter than taken to a showing.
This is not really because they might annoy people but because you really don’t know when there might be a dog behind the laundry room door, or stairs without a handrail, or a bathroom with a sunken tub they could fall into! You also have to consider their stamina and attention span. If you know that even before you have made it through the first showing that crankiness is likely to set in then again, staying at home may be the better option for everyone involved.
Remember the Importance of the Neighbourhood
For children, moving can be an especially anxious time. They’re often being asked to leave their friends, their school and the area they are familiar with. For a younger child this may not be a huge deal, but for a tween or teen it can be very hard to deal with.
To help make sure that your family house-hunting trips are not just limited to looking at properties for sale. Stop at parks, schools, churches, shopping centres and other places that are likely to become a part of your child’s life.
Ask your Realtor to help you with all of this, as they are likely to be far more familiar with what’s on offer than you are. Good ones will be more than happy to do so. As Realtors we do love to show off our area as well as the homes we are showcasing so we’ll be able to give kids all kinds of answers that you may not.
Give Your Kid a Job
You can often be ease some of a child’s stress about leaving their old home by getting them to focus a little more on what lies ahead.
Older kids can be encouraged to do a bit of Internet research about the area you’re moving to. How many people live there? What’s the town motto? Who are some notable residents from the past or the present? Younger kids can cut photos from old magazines to create collages of things they’d like to see in their new bedroom once you’ve found a new home.
When touring homes ask your children to be in charge of taking photos or, keeping a checklist noting the best features of each house you visit. These simple tasks will help children feel more connected to the house hunting process and therefore less scared of it.