Moving house can be very exciting. As you look to new horizons, you and your family can put down roots and share new experiences.
Imagine the thrill of exploring new places. Think of the sense of achievement when a room has been decorated to your taste – an accent wall here, a woollen throw there, new vinyl flooring in a lovely big bathroom.
You’re looking forward to making new friends next door and can’t wait to invite your bestie round for an afternoon tea in the garden, with its patio and full borders and trellises.
But, actually, moving house can be quite a stressful time for children. They may not be as excited or as enthusiastic as you are.
It might be that they will miss the only bedroom they have known, or fear they may not see again the little friend they first met at the garden gate or in the playground.
It could be quite an emotional time in their short life, and it is something that cannot, and should not, be ignored.
Even though you will already have so much to think about in terms of the finances and logistics of moving, make sure you spare a thought or two for the children.
It’s Good To Talk
Talking and being open is the best way forward. It’s good to keep things as simple as possible, and in a way, they can begin to understand what moving is all about.
Of course, they’ll be worried, but reassuring words from Mum and Dad will help to reduce some of the fears that they will have.
They’ll have questions about friends, toys, still being able to see Grandma and Grandad, schools, and sports clubs.
None of their concerns should simply be brushed off – it’s important to them so it should be important to you.
Talk to them about how they can still do much of what they’ve been doing, but in such a way as it’ll be a little better and so exciting. Speak about the new things to do, like a park to explore or shops to visit and friends to make.
Children can be quite curious, so share with them what the new place will be like and ask them if they want to know more about any particular feature.
They’ll be worried about their toys, so see if they want to get stuck into the packing of boxes. Make it fun for them by making sure their favourite teddies can see where they’re going or are wrapped up ready for the trip.
It’s probably best to make sure these are packed last and unpacked first as this will ensure they know they have their familiar things with them.
Similarly, their fresh, clean bedding with their favourite characters on them will help with the transition as they will have space for themselves.
So it’s important to get their room as ready as possible because toys locked away or unfamiliar bedding could be unsettling for them.
Get The Children Involved
Perhaps you can get them involved in the process, by asking them about what they want in their new bedroom.
Give them the option to pick colours, or pictures, or the type of bed they want. It’ll give them a sense of responsibility, and some will feel a little more grown-up.
Help to ease their fears by perhaps arranging a play date with their friends, an afternoon tea or even a sleepover.
When you’ve moved, make sure to find out about parks and clubs and who lives nearby that they might become friends with.
One of the best ways to help children when moving house is to keep as much as possible to existing routines.
Familiar bedtimes, tea at the table and playtimes can all help to comfort a child and let them know that not everything in their small world has changed.
It could take a little time for a youngster to feel settled in a new home, so you must recognise the fears and be particularly patient.
It is also worth remembering that children are actually more resilient than we often give them credit for. They will adapt, they will make new friends. With your help and understanding, patience and a little bit of time, a move to a new home could be the best thing you and your family has ever done.