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Parents and kids preparing a meal, knowing the importance of helping your kids adjust to a new home.

Adjusting to a new environment is challenging. That's why helping your kids adjust to a new home and neighborhood should be on the top of your list.

Moving into a new home is an exciting thing. However, adjusting to a new environment is not easy, sometimes even for adults. Even though moving with kids might not have been the easiest thing you've ever done, more challenges are waiting. And helping your kids adjust to a new home and neighborhood should be your priority. Remember, they've left everything they've known, and usually, they don't adapt to a new environment as quickly as adults. Luckily, there are several ways you can make the transition easier. 

A father throwing leaves on his kid.

Be there for your kid.
A father throwing leaves on his kid.

Explore the Neighborhood 

It's going to take some time until your family really gets to know your new neighborhood. But you can speed up the process by exploring the area. Make tours at different times of the day to fully understand the neighborhood dynamics and vibe. And make it an adventure. Ask the kids where they want to go and want they want to do. And then check out the kid-friendly facilities and parks. Encourage your children to make decisions and to ask a neighbor where the nearest park is, for example.

Drive to the school and rec center and help them get familiar with the places they'll regularly visit. It will help them feel more confident the next time they come to the same spot.

Meet Your New Neighbors

If you want to meet new people in the area, you and your kids can go over and say hello, as simple as that. But, while for you, an excellent way to socialize is to throw a party, for your kids, it is to be involved in the games the kids play. When you see the neighborhood kids playing and their parents around, ask if your child can join them. They will give them all the information about the new school, new games, athletic programs and other things your child would love to know about. And you can propose an informal gathering, like a pizza night, so that both adults and kids can get to know each other better.

Take a Home Tour

Even if your kids have seen the house before, take another tour. Tell them what you'd like each room to be and how you'd place the furniture. Ask them to share their suggestions and try to acknowledge what they have to say. Go from room to room and let them talk about how they'd organize the space.

If your kids are young, you can play games with them to help them get familiar with your new home. You can try playing hide and seek, as this will encourage them to explore each corner of your new home. Or you can try a treasure hunt. The questions should be about the house. For example, you can ask which room is the smallest, or how many stairs there are in front of the entrance door. Or you can ask them to tell you the rooms in the house with two or three windows. This way, they'll have to think about your new home and become inquisitive about it.

Start with the Kids' Rooms

Of course, to help your kids familiarize themselves with the new home and neighborhood, start with their own rooms. Actually, these are the rooms you should unpack first. No matter how good your new home security measures are, the kids feel safest in their personal space. You should ask them to unpack their bags and help them if they need you to. During this process, ask them to repeat where they planned to put each item. It will help them realize that this is really their own space. The sooner they unpack and organize the room, the sooner they will feel at home. 

A child unpacking

Encourage your kids to unpack and organize their rooms by themselves.

A kid unpacking.

Get Back Into Old Routines

During relocation, family routines become more and more flexible until they disappear entirely. There is a good chance that you don't have the same mealtimes as before and that even the whole family's bedtime routine has changed. And of course, it's normal for the first night to let the kids stay up longer and make it a special moment. After that, however, remember that it's essential to establish a daily routine because it helps the whole family feel more grounded.

For most people, the routine is beneficial, especially in times of transition. For teens and children, this is even more important. Disrupting daily schedules can be very detrimental to them. To help them feel settled, try maintaining their old routines in the new environment. If you used to take your children for a walk at a particular time of the day, find a new park where you can enjoy it. Despite the tasks you need to finish, tell your kids that you'll do your best to keep the old routines. Of course, if some rescheduling is required, then do so.


A mother reading to her child.

Don't forget your old routine.

A mother reading to her child.


Establish New Routines

While old habits can help your kids feel more settled, new habits can keep them interested. And this is the perfect time to make them. Talk to your children and ask them if there's a new routine they'd like to have. Maybe they'd love a Thursday pizza night or a family quiz on the weekend to become a new thing.

It might not be easy, especially considering that you have the whole house to put in order. But accept that helping your kids adjust to the new environment is part of the relocation process. However, don't forget to take your time to settle down and establish your own habits in your new home and neighborhood.

Getting Your Pet Settled

Although moving with pets is a challenge, a pet can help your kids feel more settled. Having pets requires us to maintain old routines, and they present a part of the familiar world to your kids. Even if you don't allow your cat or a dog to sleep with the children, consider making an exception for the first two or three nights. 

Helping your kids adjust to a new home can help you

You shouldn't forget about your own needs during the transitional time. However, helping your kids adjust to a new home and neighborhood might be very helpful for you too.


Courtesy of Sophia Perry