Birth, death, marriage, divorce, promotion, demotion, illness, age and debt can create the need to leave our current “nest” and venture out into the real estate world to seek a new one. A new job or the loss of an old one may be the catalyst of change, or sometimes it’s the desire to move forward with the pursuit of a postponed goal. No matter what the reason, life can become chaotic once the decision to move is made.
It can be especially challenging to move with children. A young father considering a job offer in Los Angeles recently asked for advice on how to prepare his children for a major uprooting from one coast to another. In my experience, and my moves total well into the double digits and include seven states, children tend to mirror the attitude of the parents. If dad is stressed out with his new job, the kids will likely be stressed out by their new school. If mom is sad and blue because she misses her former social circle, the children may react to the loss of their best friends with similar emotions. It is up to the adults to set the emotional tone and offer constructive coping skills the children can emulate.
Today’s mobile society and easy access to social networks make it much easier to stay in touch with your next door neighbor when they are millions of doors away. I remember we flew our daughter’s best friend from Maryland to Florida for a visit, and when we left Florida for California we flew her back to Florida to visit her best friend. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact children have lives too. They may not have a choice in whether or not to move, but they will be miserable if their needs are discounted.
My children were swimmers and tennis players. I enrolled them in their activities of choice at our new destination as soon as possible, and new friendships soon blossomed. Sure, they made a few phone calls to their old circle, but before long they were inviting new friends over to the house, studying with friends and adjusting to the changes a move creates with acceptance and ease. If the adults have a positive attitude it sets the tone for the entire household.