As an adult, moving house can be very stressful not to mention downright exhausting. First there’s the excitement of the purchase, then comes the anticipation of taking ownership of your new home, and before you know it you’re donating unwanted goods, madly packing boxes and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.
But where are the children in all this? How will they cope with the sudden changes that are about to take place in the home and in their life? Have you thought about how you will include them in what’s happening?
Here are some tips to help children adjust when your family is moving house.
Hold a family meeting when you decide the family will be moving so that everyone has a chance to adjust to the idea that a new house is on the horizon. Depending on the age of your children involve them in the house hunting process i.e looking at properties online. Allow older children to come along to open house inspections.
Borrow or purchase children’s books about moving and read these stories on a regular basis leading up to the move. For a list of books about children and moving take a look at Goodreads.
Research the suburb
Spend time researching the suburb you’ll be moving to – parks, school, playgrounds, swimming pool and library – so your child can get excited about the new places you’ll soon be visiting together. If you live in close proximity to your new home take a few trips and explore your new suburb.
Explain what will occur on moving day and the time leading up to it so your child understands what’s happening as things begin to change. Create a ‘moving calendar’ and pin it to the fridge so they can follow along with the schedule of clearing, cleaning, packing and finally, the move.
Give each child a small box and ask them to place their favourite items into it. The box can come with the family in the car so when you arrive at your new home your child has something familiar to focus on.
The first night
Each house has its own sounds, creaks and outside noise so consider having a ‘sleepover’ on the first night. Order in a pizza and let the children camp out on your bedroom floor for the first night.