Change can be unsettling for children (as anyone who’s attempted the switch from cot to big boy/girl bed will know!). Moving house is the ultimate disruption to routine, so it’s important to help your child to cope with moving to their new home.
Moving is a logistical nightmare at the best of times, and relocating with children in tow can take the stress levels to a whole new level. However, it’s important to talk positively about the move – no matter how frazzled you’re feeling inside. Children look to their parents for reassurance, so a tense and fraught household will make them feel apprehensive. Be enthusiastic about the move in front of your children, and save your rants about extortionate agent fees for after they’ve gone to bed.
The unknown can be frightening, even for adults. If possible, you should take your children to see your new home at least once before you move in. Show them which room will be their new bedroom, point out where their toys will live, and take them to do some fun activities in the local neighbourhood. If you can’t take your child with you (if you’re moving overseas, for example), take lots of photos and videos to show them.
Get Them Involved
By letting your children get actively involved with the move, they will feel they have some control over the situation. Ask them to cut pictures out of estate agent magazines, draw their new bedroom, or make some change-of-address cards to give to their friends.
Focus on the Benefits
Moving can be frightening for children, especially if they will be changing schools. Focus on the positive aspects of your new home – how close you’ll be to a nearby park, or having a bigger garden to run around in. However, be wary of promising things that are more uncertain (such as new children to play with in the neighbourhood).
There are hundreds of things to do when moving house, from arranging removal trucks to changing the utility bills. When you are thinking about removal, remember to consider more inexpensive DIY options, more on this here. However, the most important thing you should do is pay attention to your child. They might not openly share their feelings with you, but that doesn’t mean they’re not feeling insecure or miserable inside. You know your child best, so watch for signs they’re feeling out-of-sorts. If they do start showing signs of inner stress, let them know you’re always there for them, no matter how busy you are.
This article was written by Simon Markland, from baggage and shipping company VOOVit. A Collaborative Post