Children and moving just do not mix. Moving to a new home can be one of the biggest changes that a family can face especially for young children so it is important to take them into consideration. With proper and sensitive planning these changes can be put into a positive framework.
The following are a few points to take into consideration when Moving with Children
- Prepare your children for the move by giving them lots of information about the reasons for moving and letting them know what they can expect in their new home.
- Invite children to talk about their feelings with
- Listen to what they have to say and assure them that you understand.
- Avoid being over optimistic and insisting everything will be wonderful. Even if the new home is fantastic it may still take time for them to adjust.
- Try not to take it personally if your child is having trouble adjusting to the move and blames you for causing it. Try to explain that sometimes big decisions need to be made and some cannot be avoided. Provide emotional support and understanding.
- Share the feelings that you may have had during your childhood.
- Don’t forget to share your feelings with someone, adults sometimes need support as well.
- Focus on the positive aspects of your new home, neighbourhood and community.
- Minimise changes to the child’s routine and avoid any other new experiences such as toilet training, new foods, a new pet etc until such time as they have settled in.
- Prepare for the move by using fantasy play with your child to act out the moving process with toys and stories.
- Expect some regressive behaviours such as thumb sucking, sleep disturbances or bed wetting before and after the move.
- Involve your young child in the move by encouraging them to pack at least one box of their own things.
- Personalise your child’s boxes by providing labels, stickers, rubber stamps or coloured pens to mark the boxes. Perhaps your child can create their own labels.
- Create a story book of the move by taking photographs at various stages of the move.
- Keep in mind that young children live in the present. Don’t be surprised if moving in the week/s ahead has little meaning to them.
- Help your children say goodbye to friends by encouraging them to have a party or an informal get together. Make a scrap book as a keep sake.
- Give them specific jobs to help with the move and let them know that their assistance is
- Gather information from contacts regarding information about the new community. Your local First National Real Estate agent can assist.
- Make contact with clubs or sports organisations that your family would be interested in. Highlight any excellent facilities that they may not have had in their old neighbourhood.
- Contact the new schools for information on their activities and programs.
- Some people tend to have the children looked after while they are packing and organising but this is not necessarily a good idea. You are better off involving them completely in the activities of the move.
- Above all try and keep life as normal as possible, concentrate on the positive but ensure your understand their feelings.