Moving house can be a stressful time for the entire family, especially for the children involved.
It’s very common for parents to take control of the house move, focusing on searching for the property, finding the right location and dealing with any problems faced.
Children can often feel excluded, worried and stressed during a house move and start focusing on what they are losing rather what they are gaining. Try not to become too occupied by the practical stuff and involve the children as much as possible.
Looking ahead and understanding there will be positives to this move is hard for children. They will be thinking about the home they are leaving behind. They may have become fond of this house, feel safe and secure in it and have friends locally whom they may feel they will lose.
All children will react differently to an imminent house move, knowing your child you need to be aware of their feelings and anxieties and remember that although a child may come across as being excited and keen to go, underneath they may still have worries that need to be addressed.
Talk you your child, explain the reasons for your move, think of and focus on as many positives you can that they will benefit from, these may range from:
- A new room they can decorate to their taste.
- Larger Garden to play in.
- New toy room.
- Closer to school and certain friends they already know.
- Near a park or swimming pool, etc
Take your child to see the new house before moving in. They may love it and then a lot of possible anxiety of “What if I hate the new house” will be avoided.
Try and encourage your child to become involved in choosing the new house, ask them what colour they would like their room to be painted, is there anything particular they would like in the new house, For example, a nice garden or a secret hiding place – although you won’t be choosing a house based on their wishes you maybe able to find a similar trait in the house you pick and you can use this as a real positive, and they will feel very much involved in the decision process.
Moving away from an area and changing schools
If you are moving away from the area and your child is going to be separated from current friends and school this can be a very scary time for them. Plenty of support, positiveness, confidence boosting and encouragement will be needed to keep this move as stress free as possible for them.
Try and focus on the following:
- All the new friends they will be making, they will be worried about not knowing anyone.
- Positives about the new area, parks, activity centres etc
- Take your child to the knew location as often as possible before the move so it becomes a familiar place to them.
- Make sure your child can stay in touch with current friends, organise playdates for old friends to visit and exchange email addresses so they don’t feel like they are closing the door on their old life.
- Organise as many play dates as possible once you have moved, to promote friendships and get them settled in as quickly as possible.
- Get them involved in decorating their bedroom so they have a space they feel comfortable and relaxed.
- Make the new house feel as homely and comfortable as quickly as possible.