Moving house as an adult is one of the most stressful things you can do. There’s so much to organise, there’s costs to think about, and of course the emotional upheaval of the entire process can be exhausting. But what is it like for your child? To your child, you and their family home are the centre of their universe, and it’s difficult for them to imagine much else. So how can we help our children to better understand and find the moving on of moving house less stressful? There are a few tips that can help along the way.
Get on Their Level
The things that you’re worrying about in relation to what your child is worrying about in regards to the move are probably worlds apart. Whatever you do, a great place to start is by being honest with them and making them feel as included as you possibly can, without allowing them to share your worries. Something commonly found here, is that children will ultimately gravitate towards focusing what they may lose in the move such as their friends, their current school, and their current bedroom. Distracting from this and guiding them towards focusing on the positives of moving to a new home such as gaining more friends and a brand new bedroom is a great way of encouraging them to turn their nerves and sadness into excitement!
Combat Your Own Stress
Chances are if you’re less stressed, then your child will follow suit and be less stressed also. Although moving can seem a lot of hassle, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as everybody makes out. If you’re well prepared in advance, you’ll feel on top of everything and will ultimately have less rushing around to do when it comes down to the crunch. Try and have everything planned down to a tee with a checklist of all of the different things you need, split into different sections. For example; a financial checklist, a transportation checklist, a checklist of your own and/or partners belongings, and a checklist of your child’s belongings. If you’re organised for them, they’ll have less to worry about, however, don’t forget to make sure they’re involved to some extent! The control they have over their own smaller belongings, for example favourite toys, can help them to feel less anxious and ultimately in more control, in a situation they may not fully understand.
Keep Certain Things the Same – Even After the Move
Although you’ll be living in a completely different house, it doesn’t mean the whole environment had to change. Adults underestimate how much familiarity is comforting for children, and how it can make the big transition of moving home, not seem so big anymore. The smallest things like using maybe the same bed sheets they’re used to, the same washing powder on their clothes, and allowing them to choose whether they want to upgrade or keep things from their old room. On top of this, if you can, keep their routine as similar as possible to what it was. Whatever their breakfast time, bed time, and play time was, keep it the same! Ultimately the thing they probably fear most is that everything will change, and if you can show them that some things stay the same no matter where they go, it’ll give them a higher sense of security.
On top of this, if they do move schools, make sure you make an effort to keep them in touch with their old friends and go to any of their old clubs. Whether that be a fortnightly trip to the park or cinema, you invite them round for tea, or even if you allow them to use Skype for a catch up, the familiarity of friendship will provide your child with a level of comfort and security.
However, don’t forget to encourage them to make new friends too! As well as keeping certain things the same, also encourage them to try new clubs, and to make new friends. You yourself can even help in this respect by making an effort with parents of other children in their class, and integrating your family into this new community.
Last of all, Consider Alternative Options
If you have a child prone to stress and anxiety and it’s the upheaval of the move itself rather than actually living elsewhere that’s bothering them, then there are alternative methods that will enable you to sell your home hassle free, without having to wait for buyers and spend a fortune on estate agent fees. Companies such as ReadySteadySell.co.uk will value and buy your home quickly for cash, meaning the selling process itself is a lot less stressful.
Disclaimer: Toddle About Limited does not endorse any company or service mentioned in this article.