Moving house is a stressful time for the whole family, but young kids can take it particularly badly. A combination of leaving behind friends and loved ones, losing their routine, and leaving behind familiarity can all take its toll on children. Many parents see changes in their kids’ behavior as a result of a move, although this almost always settles down after a while. While it’s probably not possible to put a totally positive spin on the moving process, it is possible to make the upheaval slightly easier on them. Just keep these five top tips in mind.
Keep them in the loop
One of the worst things you could do to your kids is to get them out of bed one morning, pop them in a van, and transport them halfway across the state to their new home. They need a chance to say goodbye to friends, ask questions about their new life, and come to terms with what the move means. If you keep them in the loop from the day the move is made definite, it gives them time to understand the changes, and reassures them that they’re in control. Photos of their new home, new bedroom, and even new school can also help to give them time to adjust before the big day.
Encourage their input
They’re going to have opinions on various parts of the move, so encourage them to express them. Even if it’s just about what color their new bedroom should be painted, or how the furniture should be arranged, it allows them to feel part of the machine and maintain control. It also gives them an excuse to get excited about the move, which is always positive.
Prioritize their new rooms
On the day of the move, ensure their boxes are packed and transported as a priority, and ask the moving company to put their boxes straight into their bedroom. This gives the kids the chance to start settling into their new room, even while the rest of the box-moving is going on. It also means their rooms can be the first on the list for unpacking so that they can go to bed that evening in a relatively calm, safe space.
Maintain their routines
The upheaval can be huge, so by ensuring that their routines remain relatively unchanged, they’re able to settle in without too much disturbance. Obviously, there will be times when parts of their routines have to change, maybe because of longer travel times to their school, or different days for their various activities – just keep them in the loop and encourage them to understand the changes.
Make new pals
They’re potentially leaving behind friends and family, so it’s crucial that they make new friends soon. Take them with you when you meet the neighbors so they can meet other kids in the neighborhood, and encourage them to join in with clubs and hobbies to meet friends that way. It might take a while, but they’ll get there eventually.
Moving house can be really difficult for kids, but if you follow these five tips, it can be made a whole lot easier.