According to the consumer organisation Which?, people find moving house even more stressful than having a child – but both are in the top 5 of life’s most stressful events. So when you’ve got children and you’re moving house, how much more stressful could that be! Luckily, there are a number of ways you can make life easier for the kids during a home move which will ultimately make life easier for you all.
Children are creatures of habit and love familiarity. So the thought of having their lives disrupted is going to be upsetting for them. The best thing to do is talk to them about the move and try and get them excited about a new phase in their lives. With younger kids, encourage them to play ‘moving house’ with their toys, talk about the new house and what their new bedroom is going to be like, and tell them about all of the exciting things they’ll be doing; if you’re moving nearby, take them to the new place and show them where the nearest playgrounds are, where the school is, and talk about how much fun living there will be.
With teenagers, things could get tricky as moving house could be yet another thing for them to rebel against. The move will probably take them away from their circle of close friendships, not to mention their boyfriend/girlfriend, and they’ll know what they could be missing out on when they’re no longer in the area. Listen to their concerns and assure them that you understand. Without being glib, suggest that a move now will help them get ready for more big changes in their life, such as going to university or moving away for a new job. Obviously they’ll be able to keep up with their old friends on social media, but talk about allowing them to come back to visit their friends, especially if there’s a special occasion they’ve been looking forward to.
With smaller kids, it’ll be a much smoother process for you if you arrange for them to be looked after by someone else.
With older children, they may well want to be a part of the moving process, so allow them to help out with the packing. If you’re not moving on a school day, you may also want to find someone to take them away from the house for a while so you can get on with helping to pack the removal vans more quickly and efficiently.
If the kids have to stay with you the whole time, pack up their belongings last in order to let them stay in their familiar room as long as possible.
The first thing you need to do at the new house is to unpack and organise the children’s bedroom/s. As soon as that’s ready, you’ll be able to get on with the rest of the unpacking – hopefully undisturbed – whilst they get used to their new surrounding and sort out their toys etc. Try to keep to their regular mealtimes and bedtime in order to maintain as much of a sense of familiarity as possible.
In the first few weeks at the new house, find groups and activities which your children can join in with so they can start making new friends. If there are neighbours with kids of the same age, invite them all round for coffee and drinks so you can all get to know each other – it’ll help you make friends too!
And remember that the kids could be feeling a bit anxious about their new life for a while, so be patient with them. As a general rule of thumb, at a new school, teachers expect them to take around six weeks to settle down.
If you’re planning to move, with or without kids, from or to North London, click here to get a quick home removals quote or call 0333 355 6942 for more information.
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