If you’ve done it before, you’ll know that moving home can be an incredibly stressful experience. If you’ve not done it before, chances are you will have heard some horror stories from other people about their big move! Actually securing the property can be difficult enough, what with finding a lender and putting down a deposit. But it is the actual process of moving home that many families find difficult. This is especially true for families with young children.
Upheaval in any child’s life can be distressing and confusing, and your child may have lots of confusing feelings about moving home. Most of these harbor from fear of the unknown. Your child may be worried they will never see their friends again, or they may scared that they don’t like the new area. Thankfully, there are things you can do as a family which can make this stressful time much easier for them.
Talking to your child about the impending move is absolutely vital, even way before it happens. If possible, let your child know early on that you are thinking of moving home, before you have even looked at any properties. This way, you will be able to gage their reaction, and they won’t feel as though you are doing anything behind their back. Tell your child the reasons why you are moving house and make sure you highlight all the positive things about the new area and property. If you paint the whole experience in a positive light, your child will start to feel excited about the whole thing, rather than nervous.
Do a trial run
If you are moving to a different neighborhood, take your child there for the afternoon to have a look around. Moving somewhere completely different can be a bit of a shock to the system for children. So, for that reason, seeing the new area prior to moving day help relax them and get them interested in the whole event. Make sure you take them to fun places, such as a children’s play area or a nice place to eat, so that they associate fun with the memory of the new place. If you can, ask your estate agent if you can have the keys for an afternoon, so you can take your child around the new house before you move in.
On the day
When the big day is finally here, make sure your child is greatly involved in the whole process. Let them pack some of their own items and decorate the box labels to add an element of fun to the proceedings. Many children are worried that once their possessions go into the removal van, they will never see them again. If you are moving far away, and are therefore using cross country moving companies, this is a very likely scenario. Ask your removal company if they can put your child’s possessions on last, so that they are the first to come off when unpacking.
The moving day itself is likely to be extremely busy and hectic. Therefore, you won’t exactly feel like unpacking every single box when you’ve finally sat down in the evening. The first night in a new home can often be a little unsettling for a child, so make everything as comfortable as it can be for them. You will be too tired to do any cooking, so treat them to a takeout pizza and gather on the sofa for a family movie night. With any luck, your little ones will be so tired after their busy day, that they will fall straight to sleep anyway!