Giving up a home that you love and have created a lot of amazing memories in can be really tough for us as adults but when you’re little and your house is all you’ve ever known, moving away from it can be tough. Feelings of insecurity can flood tiny minds and you may find them acting out without either of you really knowing why.
To make the idea of moving less stressful for everyone, we take a look at how you can prepare the youngest members of your family for a big life change.
Don’t make it a surprise
Birthday parties are great surprises, gifts are great surprises, moving home isn’t. Instead plan to sit down with your child and explain to them in an age appropriate manner what they can expect over the next few weeks. You’ll need to explain about the tidying and packing and that there will probably be people coming around their house to have a look at all the rooms, including their bedrooms. Tell them that when someone has chosen your house then you will leave and they will move in. Without making it scary you should make it clear that this is not a temporary arrangement and they’ll be no going back.
To make the transition easier you can explain that you’ve had a look at some houses too and (if applicable) have chosen a new place to live that suits your family better. The promise of a new bedroom and some autonomy over wallpaper design can do wonders.
For younger children a book about moving might be helpful and for older ones a timeline to remind them of the process can help them see that it’s something that can be understood and followed and isn’t anything to be worried about.
Plan a trip
If you can, take your child to the new house as soon as possible and show them their new bedroom. Ask them to imagine what it might look like, you can turn the design into a craft activity or game and have them fully involved and invested in their new destination. Reassure them that their favourite toys and teddies will be joining you.
You’re likely to face a barrage of questions and emotions over the coming weeks as the children process what’s happening in their lives. You may take months to sell your existing property or find a quicker route with help from The Advisory but in either case be prepared to offer repeated reassurance and try and answer any questions as factually and truthfully as you can.
As hard as it is moving home, when you’re all on board with it and you know you’re making the right decision for you and your family, then you can be reassured that it won’t be long until your children get to grips with the upheaval. It’s surprising how resilient kids can be, so maintain an open dialogue and look forward to making new memories in your new home for many years to come.