Moving house can be a very stressful time for adults. Finding the right place, securing the mortgage, the conveyancing, surveys, gazumping, removals – all this can lead to emotional upset, stress levels that seem to rise daily, and a general feeling that the whole process will never end. So imagine how it must feel for your children.
Although it can be a fairly pain free process, it is often not. House moving can involve anything, from a simple move in the same postcode that does not include moving jobs or schools, to a complete relocation that can involve moving to a totally new area, or, in some cases, to a new country. My sister-in-law and family are currently in the process of moving to Canada, and are having to not only find new jobs and schools, but have had to employ a leading moving company Toronto based to deal with their belongings before they have even entered the country. As adults this can all be both stressful and worrying, even though it is balanced by excitement and apprehension. But for your children, this can be something that has no positive, particularly if they are leaving their current school and friends behind.
But fear not, there are things that you can do as a parent in order to make the whole process that little bit easier.
Here are my tips
- Keep your children informed and involved. This is the number one thing that you MUST do. If you think that this is a stressful time for you, what must it be like for your children. They may be having to get used to the idea of a new school, new friends and a new area, so make the situation easier by telling children about the move as early as possible in order for them to mentally prepare and get used to the idea. Let them ask all the questions they need to, and try to answer them to the best of your ability.
- Stress the positives at all times. Make your child really excited about things that are important to them – i.e helping to design and choose things for their new bedroom. Play up all the strengths of your new home – maybe it has a garden big enough for goals or a playhouse? Maybe they will be able to keep a pet in their new home? Maybe they will finally be able to have their own bedroom, and it is big enough for friends to be able to have sleepovers. The positives will help your child to forget all the things they are not happy about.
- Go and explore the new area – check out the parks and play areas, toy shops and food places – literally anything that helps your positive spin. Spend some time there before the actual move and research the schools to see what sort of after school clubs and social activities they provide which could help your child to settle in well.
- When it comes to the move, let them pack their own special box of treasured possessions that they can keep with them in the car. It is daunting to see all your possessions disappear into the back of a van, so make sure familiar things and much loved cuddly toys stay with your child. It may also be a good idea to get your child a special new toy as a treat that may just ease the moving. This works well if there is a particular toy your child has been coveting for a long time, they can now associate their house move with getting that much longed for treat. If you have previously lived in a flat or apartment and are getting a garden for the first time, it could be a great idea to invest in a slide or a playhouse – something your child will look forward to at their new home.
Ultimately a move is a big adjustment for both adults or a child, you just have to keep reinforcing what an exciting time it is, and how fantastic the new house and future will be. Hopefully, this will make your move the best thing your family has ever done. An exciting new start for all.