Hands up who thinks moving home is stressful? Everybody? That was the expected response. From finding a new home to packing up your old one, moving house is rated high amongst life’s stressors. There are many ways you, as the adult, can handle stress, but when it comes to your kids, you need to try different tactics. Children aren’t as adaptable as you, and assuming they haven’t had much say in your decision to move, they may not be very happy about it. So how can you help them with the transition? We have some advice fellow parents may find useful.
1. Before you phone Shiply and begin the lead up to moving day, talk to your kids about the move. Children under 5 are more adaptable than older children, but it’s still important your kids know what is going to happen. The earlier you tell them, the sooner they will get used to the idea.
2. Think about the time of year you plan on moving. If possible, time it around the needs of your kids. Especially if your children are half-way through term time, removing them from school and their peers may be detrimental. Particularly if you have teenagers in your family, you don’t want to move them out of a school if they are in exam season. When possible, time the move after term ends, or when an interruption to schooling is less vital.
3. Involve your children in the moving decision. While choosing the house may not quite be in their remit, it will still benefit them if they have some control over the move. Choosing the colour scheme for their room, for example, or helping to pick new furniture for their bedroom, may make the move more palatable.
4. Your kids may already be excited about the move, so there may be less to worry about when it comes to negative emotions. However, if their mood state is decidedly despondent about the impending change, try and drum up some excitement. This includes highlighting why the move will be beneficial, talking about the features in the new home, and showcasing local amenities that may be of interest.
5. If at all possible, visit the house and local area before the move. This will turn the transition from something abstract to something real, and will help your kids come to terms with what is happening. It’s also important to visit the new school, letting your kids meet their teacher, and possibly some of the other children they will be sharing a classroom with.
6. When it comes to the new school, ensure you make the opportunity to have a private meeting with the class teacher or head. Let them know about your child, tell them any specific concerns, and give them a heads up on particular needs your child has. Hopefully, this will make life easier for your child when they resume their education.
7. The worst thing about moving (for many people) is saying goodbye to friendships. Therefore, make sure your child has the time to say goodbye properly, perhaps with a leaving party. You can’t control the feelings of sadness your child feels, but having the opportunity to say farewell will make parting easier. Staying in contact is better than ever before, with social media and Skype, but be sure to get phone numbers and email addresses from your child’s friends too.
It won’t take long for your children to get used to their new surroundings, especially if you have followed some of the steps above. There will be stress, and emotions both positive and negative will be high. Look after your own needs within all of this, but remember your children throughout the process.