Everybody knows that moving house can be one of the stressful things anyone can go through in their lives. Just thinking about completing the paperwork of buying a house, hiring the right removals company, and packing can make you start to feel anxious. Although moving can definitely make adults feel stressed and it’s easy to forget its effects on kids.
If you’re about to move house or even just thinking about doing so, think about how it will affect your children. Once the whole process kicks off, there’s a chance that you might forget to take your kids into account when it comes to moving. That’s why it’s so important to get them ready by preparing early on in the moving process. Here are a few tips to do just that.
● Have an honest talk
There are several possible reasons for your move. Are you moving to accommodate a change in your career path? Maybe you are moving to be closer to your family? Or perhaps you are simply of your current surroundings and want something new? No matter the circumstances, you need to talk about your upcoming move with your kids and tell them what your expectations are for the foreseeable future.
Have an open discussion (or maybe more than one) as soon as possible. This gives them time to process the impending change and prevents them from feeling like you’re springing a surprise on them. Answer their questions as openly and completely as you can. At this point, you need to be receptive to both their positive and negative reactions. Also, now is a good time to take their suggestions on board so they can take responsibility and feel good about the move by getting involved.
● Stay positive
When there will be a big change, children will usually see it as a bad thing. When they think of moving, they’ll probably focus on the losses, such as the fact that they will be leaving their friends, family, and familiar surroundings. Instead, you need to move that focus onto the positive aspects.
Frame the move like it will be a new adventure—a chance to explore new places, try new things, and meet new people. Highlight the great things about your new house, such as a bigger garden, or new city, like the selection of amazing shops and restaurants. Also, you need to keep your positive attitude (even though you might be stressed from it all!) so that your kids can look to you and know that everything will be okay.
● Get them involved as much as possible
A major reason why some kids react negatively to a move is that they feel like all these changes are out of their hands. They feel left out of the decision making and that it’s not fair since they are being affected. To avoid this, you need to get them involved as much as possible throughout the moving process.
If you’re still house hunting, take them with you and ask for their opinions. Have them create a scrapbook full of drawings, poems, diary entries, or photos of your old home as part of celebrating and remembering the place. Get them to help you when you’re packing. You can do things like giving them the responsibility to get their rooms ready for the move. Also. let them pick out which of their furniture to transport as well as new ones to decorate their new room.
● Try to keep some routines
During this busy time, it might seem like it is impossible to keep some sort of regularity in your daily lives. However, it is crucial that you at least try to maintain a few routines. Not only will this help your children feel more at ease, it will also keep you sane during the chaotic frenzy of moving!
If you have very young children, keep their nap, meal, and bedtime rituals the same. Try not to deviate too much from your schedule if your kids are a bit older. For example, keep playdates and any rituals your family might have. Takeaway nights, movie nights, a weekend afternoon stroll in the park, or extracurricular activities—try to keep these going as much as possible.
● Know that there are different ways to cope
This tip is not so much about directly getting your kids ready for the move, but more about preparing yourself. Prepare yourself by understanding that each child has their own way of coping with a big change like moving. If you know that these responses are completely normal, you’re less likely to feel stressed.
Some kids just cry, either regularly or sporadically, for a while after moving. Others have tantrums. Still, other children develop picky eating habits, become introverted, or have trouble sleeping. A temporary regression is a totally natural way of dealing with a stressful change. What’s important is that you accept that these are normal coping mechanisms and you support them as much as possible.
Moving house doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for you or your kids. With these tips, you can get them ready for the change and even make them feel excited about it. This way, you won’t have to worry about their negative reactions and enjoy this new adventure.
Do you have any other tips? Please share in the comments below!
*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
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