Are you moving to a new home soon or considering the prospect?
Wondering how to help your kids transition easily from one home to another?
Whether you have younger children, tweens or teenagers, moving home can be a big adjustment for everyone, and it can be hard to say goodbye to a place which holds so many fond memories and move to a new unknown home.
So, if you’re wanting to make the move easier on younger members of the family, here are some tips on how to help your child with moving.
If you have younger children between the ages of 1-9 then moving for them may be a very new concept and something that they have never experienced before.
To help them you can:
Depending on their age, explain your reasons for moving (new job, new school, closer to family, bigger home, new garden, new country even) and keep everything positive. If you are positive about the move then they will be too.
1) Try to get them involved from the beginning. If possible (and dependent on age), take them to view properties with you and once you find the property you are going to purchase, make sure your child has visited at least two or three times before the big day of the move. Let them know which room will be theirs, show them the new kitchen and living room, help them visualise family times there, and make sure they are familiar with the surroundings.
2) Read your child books or watch TV shows about moving house for the first time. This helps them to understand the process of moving house and how to go about it.
3) Get them excited about moving to the new property. If there are things like the prospect of a bigger garden, a local park or somewhere to ride bikes, then let them know. The promise of something new is always exciting for a child.
4) Just like you, most children from around 4+ need to go through the process of emotionally leaving a property and moving to a new home. Let your child help pack smaller things like their toys. When packing your child’s things explain to them that you’re not throwing them away and that they will see them again at the new house.
5) Packing can be stressful, but if you let your child pack their toys then it helps them to feel involved and to know that their personal belongings will be with them too. If your child has a favourite stuffed toy or blanket, then make a big thing of leaving that out so that they can take it in the car to their new house, helping them to feel more secure in the process.
6) Take a drive around your new area with your kids to see what there is and so they know what it looks like.
7) On moving day, sometimes it may be easier and less stressful for younger children to stay with a friend or family member until everything is packed in the moving van and then meet them at the new house. Alternatively, you could let your children play outside your house and when everything is packed take them inside and let them say goodbye to all the rooms to help it feel more real for them.
8) If your child is moving schools, then to help them with the transition, you could make a memory scrapbook (or digital version) and help them to keep in touch with their old friends after moving, whilst assuring them that they will make new friends. Talk about their feelings with them and reassure them that moving on is just a normal part of every day life.
Tweens & Teenagers
If you’re moving with children aged 10-16 plus, then they will typically have a better understanding of what it means to move home. They may have experienced it as a child, or they will typically have friends or family who have moved home as a reference point. To help them have a better adjustment to moving home, some things which may help include:
A) As with younger children, getting them involved in the viewing process and getting their opinion on each home. You never now, your child may spot something that you don’t during viewings which could help stop you from making an expensive purchasing mistake!
B) Making sure that your child has seen the house at least 2-3 times before moving, and has an idea of the layout of the house and most crucially, which room will be theirs.
C) Let them explore the surrounding area either with you, by themselves or maybe with a friend.
D) Get them excited about the new opportunities which the house move offers. If the house has a cool feature like a bigger bedroom or garden or an attic room. Get them excited about that, it helps them have something to look forward to.
E) Start the process of going through their old things in your current property and get them involved in it too. Hold onto belongings from their childhood or things they deem sentimental and if possible, don’t throw out things your child still wants. It’s amazing how even the most secure teenager can need those small reminders of their childhood around them to help them feel safe.
F) Talk to your tween/teen about how they are feeling about the move. Help them to feel heard and let them know that you’re always here to talk if they want to.
G) Let your teenager have pack and unpack their own boxes it means they have a responsibility and ownership over their belongings and they feel included.
H) Get them involved in planning on redecorating their room if they want to. Perhaps let them pick out some new things for their room either before the move or in the early weeks of moving in.
I) Try to keep your child at the same school especially if they are secondary age, but if you absolutely have to move them, then make sure they keep in contact with their old friends. You could invite their friends over once you get settled for a sleepover or to watch a movie. This helps your child to settle in to their new home with people they are already familiar with.
J) Finally, on moving day, give them time to say their goodbyes to the house, their room etc. Like you, it gives them the closure they need. This helps your child to feel more ready to leave and have a chance to go around one last time remembering the happy memories in their home.
Although moving is an exciting time, it can also be a difficult and emotional time for everyone too, and leaving somewhere you love can be hard. However, hopefully some of our tips above can help to make things easier, and eventually your children will settle into their new home, as will you.
If we can assist you with any aspect of the moving process then please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01727 221290.