Moving to a new city is often the exciting beginning of a new chapter in life. Whether you’re moving for a job, to be closer to family, or simply to experience and enjoy an area of the country you’ve always wanted to live in, there is often much to look forward to. On the other side of the coin, no one would deny that certain aspects of moving can be overwhelming. There are many factors to consider: financial, lifestyle, and practical considerations all factor into the mix of things that we balance and weigh as we think about finding a new home in another place.
For those LGBTQ families who have children, moving ads yet another layer of things to consider. Certainly, in some respects, and particularly from a child’s perspective, moving can feel overwhelming. It is not unusual for children to feel resistant at first to changes in their routine as they try to adjust to something that is different from their “normal“. The good news though, is that every year, thousands and thousands of families relocate, and do so successfully. Additionally, it’s important and helpful to know that there are things you can do that will help to make moving an easier transition for your children and for your family.
Some of the things you can do to help make your move go as smoothly as possible for your children include:
- Talking it Over Thoroughly: When it comes to feeling prepared and ready to handle a new situation, in many respects, children are no different than adults. It can be helpful to calmly inform your children about the move with plenty of time before the move is actually made. This will give your children time to think through the information and to process it, and to mentally adjust to the upcoming change. Explain to your children, in terms that they will understand, why you are moving and what the move might look like for your family. Give them an idea of what to expect, both as you prepare to move, and when the move is actually made. Most importantly, give your children the time and space they need to process the information and to ask questions if necessary. Don’t underestimate the value of that time from a child’s perspective. Especially, make sure that you help your children to understand that any feelings they have about the move are valid and understandable. Give them the freedom and space to express themselves, and let them know that their feelings are important. A little listening goes a long way. It can also be helpful to point out a few things about your new destination that they might look forward to and enjoy. This can help to reduce some of the anxiety and increase anticipation.
- Allow Your Children to Have a Say: While your children will likely not have a say in the actual city that you move to or the reasons for your move itself, this doesn’t mean that you can’t give them some choice when it comes to telling you things they may or may not want in a new home, and particularly with respect to their own rooms. Give them the opportunity to help decorate, to make their room a special place they can look forward to decorating and enjoying. While it may seem like a relatively small detail, the impact of allowing a child to have these choices can be important.
- Make an Effort to Get to Know Your Neighbors: Without question, moving can be somewhat of a stressful and busy time. Once you arrive at your new destination, you may feel eager to begin unpacking all of your boxes and getting settled, which is only understandable. If you’re not careful though, you might find yourself with very little free time to do much else. While this is understandable, it is also important to make an effort and make time to get to know the families in your new neighborhood. For children, the transition to a new place can be eased tremendously by having friends. Make the effort to go next-door and introduce yourself or walk across the street and strike up a conversation. It can be helpful not only for your children but for you as well – finding friends who know the community and can give you tips on what things you might enjoy and how to adjust can be tremendously helpful.
- Find the Fun: Along with making time to meet neighbors, make sure that when you move to your new neighborhood you also make plenty of time simply to have fun. After all, a big part of what is wonderful about moving to a new place is learning all that there is to see and do. Take your children out to new places and enjoy fun activities together. This will help the adjustment to your new city easier, and you’ll make great memories in the process.
- Find the Right Agent to Help with Your Move: This piece of advice cannot be overstated. An excellent real estate agent is one who knows his or her community well. That agent should be able to listen to your lifestyle needs – your wants and your goals for your next home – and help you to find one that is a perfect fit in a neighborhood you love. At GayRealEstate.com, this is exactly what we specialize in. Regardless of where you are moving, we have an excellent network of LGBTQ-friendly agents who can help you to find a community where you will feel welcome and happy and at-home. We would love to have the opportunity to put you in touch with one of those agents today.
At Gayrealestate.com, we are proud to be a neighborhood sponsor of Family Equality, and we believe strongly in its mission of advancing equality for LGBTQ families across the country and helping everyone to feel included and celebrated, wherever they may live. If your family is thinking of making a move, we are here for you. We look forward to helping you turn the page of this next new chapter and to find yourself soon in a new home that you will love. Visit us online or call us today 1-888-420-MOVE (6683).