Moving house especially if you’re in a chain and selling your existing home, can be a really stressful experience for the adults involved but what about the young children in the family? Experts say that it’s actually their parents being stressed that affects young children the most when there’s a house move. However, there are things you can do to help your child through the process as well as trying to keep calm yourself!
Before you move:
- Involve your child in the move: The extent to which you can involve your child is of course somewhat dependent on their age but all children, however small, will be picking up on conversations and will know that something is happening. Reassure them by involving them as much as you can as early as you can. Take them to see the new house, the garden and the surrounding area two or three times if possible. Involve them in the packing and organising of boxes, especially for their own things so that they know that their possessions will be going with them.
- Talk to them about the move: Children will be unsettled by talk of a move and might be concerned that they won’t be able to see familiar people and places. Talk to them about all the things that will stay the same after you’ve moved into your new home as well as about some of the new and exciting things that will be different.
On the day you move:
- Be available for your child: If it’s possible, using a professional packing and moving company and enlisting the help of family and friends, will mean that you have more time to be with your young children on moving day to provide reassurance if they need it.
- Unpack their special belongings first: Once you’re in your new home, unpacking young children’s belongings first will mean that they have the reassurance of familiar items around them as soon as possible.
- Let your children help you unpack: If they’re old enough, give your children the responsibility for unpacking certain items and deciding where they should go in the new house. This responsibility helps them feel they have a little control in the situation.
After the move:
- Try to keep life normal for a while: Once you’re in your new home, keeping life simple for a few weeks will give your child time to settle and get used to their new home and location.