Moving home is disruptive enough for us adults but can be particularly unsettling for children. Therefore, the earlier you can involve your children in your moving plans and preparation, the easier the process will be. To try and help, here are our top tips on moving home with children.
How to prepare your child for moving day
Reassurance, Reassurance, Reassurance
Children under 5 years old are probably a bit easier to move as they seek their reassurances from their parents, but children in the older bracket are increasingly aware of their surroundings and so may take a little more nurturing.
If you’re moving to a new area discuss with them how they’ll make lots of new friends. Explain how exciting it is to have a fresh start!
Although, don’t forget to show them all the ways they can keep in touch with their old friends.
Treat it as an adventure
Every child is naturally curious, so tap into that, and treat your move to your new property as one big family adventure.
For example, ask how they would like their new bedroom decorated – get some colour swatches and unleash their inner interior designer.
If your new property has any special features that your current home doesn’t, i.e. a garden, a second or third floor or additional bedrooms, focus on these, so they have something exciting to look forward to and explore.
Get them involved
A great way to prepare your child for the move is to include them in the process. There are ways to make this fun!
- Identify the places in your new property for all of their toys and special things
- Plan the new layout of your child’s room in advance. Take pen to paper and map out where things will go – this will encourage engagement and get them excited and involved
- In the run up to moving day, get them involved in packing up their things. Allocate special stickers and pens so they can personalise and label their own boxes, giving them a sense of responsibility for getting their belongings safely from A to B
How to handle moving day with children
Moving day for anyone, especially a child is a big event, particularly if they’ve never moved before.
Moving is all about change and change is disruptive. It’s important to remember that they are leaving their home and moving into somewhere unfamiliar.
Say your goodbyes
Encourage your child to say their goodbyes to the old home, as this can help them leave it behind.
Take photographs and create a scrapbook with them, so should they feel homesick there is something they can look through.
Include pictures of their friends, along with their addresses, phone numbers or email addresses, so everything is in one place and they know they can always stay in touch.
Make it familiar
It’s important to make them feel at home straight away.
Ask the removals team to load your child’s boxes last, so that they are the first to be unloaded at the new house. Setting your child’s bedroom up early on will help them adjust to their new surroundings.
Try and arrive at your new property ahead of the removals team so your child has a chance to explore the space before your things arrive. This makes the move exciting and creates a sense of belonging early on.
Keep them occupied
Busy kids don’t have time to get under your feet!
If your child is going to be with you on moving day, and they are old enough, then give them specific jobs to do. Let them unpack their own boxes in their bedroom.
For younger children, allocate a space in the house that they can play in and give them games and toys to occupy themselves for a while.
Another option is to get your child looked after by a friend or relative on moving day so you can get on, however, this may make your child feel detached from the situation. Work out with them what’s best.
Making moving fun is no mean feat but it can make things easier all round!
Settling your child into your new home
This might take a while, as sometimes younger children can be a little clingy whilst they get used to their new surroundings.
The key is to keep their routine in place! Sticking to the same daily structure should mean the transition won’t take too long.
Always try to remain upbeat and treat the house move as an adventure for you all.
If the excitement of moving to a new house wears off and your child starts to get upset about having left their old house behind, get out and explore your new area.
Show them their new school (if there is one), new playground or new park. Encourage them to keep on thinking of the possibilities the new house brings - not dwelling on what was.
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