Moving house is a difficult transition for everybody especially young children. While adults focus on the practical problems regarding the move, a child will focus on the things they will miss and the changes that will happen. They can also worry about not seeing their best friends and moving to a new environment.
Top Tips for Moving Home:
- Talk through the move and explain to your child that everyone and everything will bemoving including the family pet and all of their toys and playthings, so they do not feel that they are going to be on their own or that items will be left behind.
- Routine is important with all children, so try to continue with your normal mealtimes and bedtimes as best you can. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.
- Reassure your child that the furniture in their bedroom is moving with them and the move will be an exciting and new adventure. Explain some advantages on why moving is a good and positive event, for example a larger/brighter bedroom, bigger garden and/or having their own play room.
- Visit the new house a couple of times if possible. Allow your child to get comfortable with the new spaces, changes and different environment. It can be a great idea to let your child explore the new house with you and to encourage them to come up with ideas of what may be possible in each room, even if this means discussing the possibility of four or five playrooms in the house and the entire family sleeping on the upstairs landing on bunk beds or sleeping bags!
- Bring familiar belongings to the new house especially items from your child’s bedroom. This will help them to adjust to the move. Allow your child to choose a place for things at first. This will give them a sense of ownership and important decision making. Once all the furniture arrives items can be moved accordingly.
- If moving to a new home where there will be a change in crèche location, Montessori and/or school; take a detour so you can pass by these places while in the car and point them out to your child while explaining where they will be going and give them information and facts about the new area.
- Involve your child in the packing process especially in their bedroom and playroom. It will reassure them that all their toys, teddies and treasures are moving with them.
When the movers arrive the children’s possessions should be the last to be loaded into the truck and first to be unloaded. The first priority should be organizing your children’s rooms; this will give them consistency and help them feel secure, safe and settled.
- If your child asks you questions about the move have your answers ready and take the time to explain.
How will my child react when moving home?
Some children may not be concerned by the move at all and may be very excited by it. Other children may have a range of different reactions depending largely on their age.
Young children may:
- start sucking their thumb
- wet the bed
- cling to you constantly for reassurance
School age children may:
- refuse to eat
- become shy
- change their sleeping patterns
- have trouble concentrating
- have stomach aches or headaches
When moving home with a school going child it is important that they are going to like their new school and make new friends. Joining after school clubs and activity groups in the area where you will be moving to, before you move, may help your child to get settled more quickly.
Children cannot always understand what is going on or express their own confused feelings.
During this difficult period of moving, quality time with parents is very important to help a child to adapt to the new home.
Can moving home be a positive experience?
A move may turn out to be a positive experience for the whole family. After a successful house move, parents may find that their child has become more independent.