Moving can be a very stressful situation. Moving with kids can be even more trying. As a child, my family never moved so I had no reference point on how to include our 3 kids. I’m lucky enough, however, to be married to a woman that moved 6 times as a kid. Yes, 6 times. When you have a parent in the oil industry moving can happen quite a bit it seems. Because of Kristi’s experience with moving so many times, Kristi knew what things her parents did to make her many moves easier. Here are a few ideas that Kristi and I implemented with the kids so that their transition would be as easy as possible.
Include Your Children In the Plan – Kristi and I made the decision to relocate to Florida a year and 1/2 before our actual move. Our move, was not like most, as it was not a job transfer. Our move to Orlando was our choice, our dream. We included our kids in our conversations early on to ensure that they had a voice.
These conversations were not always rainbows and unicorns. There was resistance and we expected that, however we felt that it was important that our kids voice was heard.
Wish List – We had a family meeting with our kids to discuss each of their wish lists. This was a fun meeting as it allowed the kids the opportunity to express what they would like have once the move is completed. The items that our kids asked for were a swimming pool, a neighborhood park, a beach, a best friend next door, more girls on the street and close to be close to Disney World. We weren’t able to get everything on the wish list, but we did get most. Seems there are still not enough girls on the street!
Family House Hunt – I’ve mentioned this in a previous post and I think it is worth repeating. Include your kids in the house hunting phase. Will they drive your crazy? Yes! We visited Orlando a year before our move to research the area towns, neighborhoods,
school and houses. Kristi and I were amazed at what the kids noticed at times that we had not. Our children also knew their voice was being heard and that was most important. The kids actually found the Oviedo area to be most like what they were used to in Texas and that helped with our decision in our current home.
Let the Kids Say Goodbye – So many times our kids have come home from school and said that their friend moved and they did not get to say goodbye. It actually happened this week in our oldest sons classroom. Our children are quick to make friends and they had A LOT of
them in Texas. With our neighbors assistance, we were able to throw them a very simple Good Bye Party at a local indoor trampoline park. We found this to be a great location in that it was perfect for kids of all ages. Our kids and their friends had a fantastic time and it also allowed us to say goodbye to the parents of these kids that had run in and out of our house for play dates, stayed at our house for sleepovers and hung out on our porch and eating popsicles. There were no tears at this party, just smiles and laughter.