One of the most exciting lifetime milestones is moving from rented accommodation to the house you have just purchased yourself. Years of scrimping and saving for fees and deposits finally pays off and you can move to a home you can call your own. It’s exciting, overwhelming and slightly frightening to have that much responsibility, and if you are bringing kids along for the ride, stressful!
Children are remarkably resilient and they adapt to new situations and surroundings far easier than adults do. In some cases, though, the chopping and changing of a move can cause unsettlement and disruption, especially for those children who thrive on the routines that the family already has set in place. New areas and new experiences can lead to nightmares, clingy behaviour and a general feeling of worry. Don’t panic though, there are many ways you can help your kids through the trauma of a house move and have the whole family come out of the other side smiling.
- Get them involved in the process. Whether it’s getting them to pack up their own rooms, or pack a special box for the courier to take into the van full of their prized possessions, you need to get the kids involved in the process from start to finish. If you know that there is going to be a move in six months’ time, start talking about it right now and get them comfortable with the idea. Ask for their opinions on areas, on how they’d like their room laid out and even the garden. Getting them used to the idea will make a difference in the whole process.
- Educate the children in what a house move entails. Break it all down step by step so they know that when one job is complete, there’s another one coming along. Ask them to help search for a new home and help you look for houses on websites like this. Informed children do better with the task ahead.
- Visit the new area you plan to move to. Whether it’s a few streets away or a couple of towns over, go on a day trip and show them the new area. The local entertainment facilities, a diner or two and the actual street you plan to live on if you know where it is. All of this can help form a visual in their eyes. You can even show them the size of the back yard and talk about a garden or a treehouse you can build for them. All in the name of excitement!
- Make folders full of information for them to refer to. This is especially handy if you plan to emigrate and cannot simply show them around the new area. Make an exciting file about the new area, schools, entertainment and things the kids will enjoy. Talk about the weather and the fun things to do that they can look forward to.
Kids can cope with a house move as long as you give them the tools to do so. Watch them shine and be as excited as you are!