Moving house, unsurprisingly, is one of the major stresses many people experience in life.
Often more than once. It’s an even more stressful experience for children, who may have never gone through it before.
Don’t neglect the little tackers. Nor the big kids. It’s an equally, if not more stressful situation for their developing minds to comprehend.
They’ll be forced to say goodbye to favourite pastimes, much loved playtime haunts and well-known neighbours and friends.
Then they’ll have to front up to a new school, seek out new comrades and bond all over again.
It’s a human instinct to seek counsel when in stressful times so make sure you’re on-hand to help your kids through this unsettling time.
Many child and family psychologists have said moving house can be as stressful as death and divorce.
Don’t let that be the case. Preparing kids for the emotional side of moving should be a priority, as with relocating the pets. Don’t let these important factors be overlooked or put off.
Most of all, share the fresh start with your children and let them in on the excitement.
A fresh start: how to cope
The big move is often associated with stress and uncertainty, especially when moving far away from your previous home. Starting a new life is very exciting but the thought of new schools, making new friends and losing old mates are things that may play on a child’s mind.
How do you approach this?
Ensure open, honest communication. Talk about the move before, during and after. No-one likes surprises so keep the kids in the loop
Explain what will happen on move day. Kids like to know what’s going on. Arrange a babysitter that they’re familiar with. Assign tasks to make them feel included and important
Have a collection of kid’s toys and ‘special’ items on-hand. Make these items easily accessible. This go-to box will come in handy and make everyone feel at home quicker
Let the kids explore the new neighbourhood. Getting to know new surrounds is the best form of familiarity – parks, playgrounds, sporting facilities
Read all about it
Books are a great way for parents to begin the communication process. There are hundreds on the market.
A few of my favourites
What About My Goldfish?
Written by Jennifer Plecas, illustrated by Pamela D. Greenwood
Written by Anne Civardi and Michelle Bates, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright
Boomers Big Day
Written by Constance W. McGeorge, illustrated by Mary Whyte
Big Ernie’s New Home: A Story For Young Children Who Are Moving
Written by Teresa and Whitney Martin
The Berenstein Bears Moving Day
Written by Stan and Jan Berenstein
Shout out the positives
Make sure to make a note of all of the fun and exciting things to come. This will help children to transition more easily.
You could let them choose their own room (this may end up in tantrums and sibling rivalry though), but it might also help to adjust and accept change more easily.
Don’t forget the furry kids
Pets are an important part of the family. But do you know how to keep a pet’s stress levels to a bare minimum while you’re moving their world?
Some reputable removalist companies will offer Pet Relocation services to help ease the moving pains with pets. These services include door-to-door transportation and added features like boarding services.
Settle in to your new surrounds
The big move is a turning point in everyone’s life. A chance to turn over a new leaf and try something new. Let the positives outweigh the negatives and allow the kids to join in and get excited about the new chapter of your lives. It’ll make it easier on everyone in the long run.