Moving house with children
Structure and routine organisation are important to children’s lives so maintaining familiar routines where possible while still focusing on the fun aspects of moving to a new home are the keys to happiness. Moving house with children should be about encouraging them to think about positive things like making new friends or having a bigger back garden to play in but there are several things you must also consider so things run as smoothly as possible.
Organising moving house is a hectic time but it’s important to remember the kids are going through an even bigger life change than you are. Talk to your children about what they are looking forward to and answer any questions they have. This will help put their minds at ease.
Tell your children about the move as soon as possible
Give the children as much advance notice as possible. Let them get used to the idea and give them reasons to look forward to it. This will ease any worries or fears they might have such as leaving behind friends or their old school. Let your children have time to prepare and adjust to the idea and they’ll become more comfortable.
Think about your children's school
Education and schooling are some of the most important parts of a child’s upbringing so, if you can, move in the summer time as changing schools during the academic year can be disruptive. This will allow them to get to know their surroundings before starting the new school year and hopefully give them time to make friends.
It is very important to research the local schools, nurseries and playgroups properly and ensure your children can have a place in the schools of your choice. Perhaps they can take part in an introductory session to help them assimilate. Purchase their uniforms and any necessary kit in good time.
Involve your children in organising their new home
Are they able to have their own room for the first time? If so, you may want to let them have a say in the décor. Even a special new duvet cover or a treasure chest to store their favourite keepsakes can help them to settle in more easily.
Involve your kids in packing and the moving process
Getting the whole family involved creates a sense of unity. Children may be able to pack some of their possessions but make sure that special toys are kept handy for the journey. If your child has a toy that they need to have with them to be able to fall asleep peacefully at bedtime, don’t’ let it be sent ahead with freight. If possible allow children to have a special travel bag with items they can’t do without and perhaps some small presents to be opened during the journey.
Encourage your children to say goodbye and keep in touch
It may be appropriate to have a leaving party for older children so they can say goodbye to their friends. Encouraging them to keep in contact with friends will help them feel less isolated as they will still have their old support network. Reassuring them that they can keep in touch will make the move less of a concern.
Small children running around can be a handful on moving day, so allowing them to stay with a friend or relative whilst the movers are in may be a good idea.
Arriving in your new home
It’s important to create happy memories for children straight away. Take time to relax and investigate your new home with your kids so they get a feel for the place. Once they have explored their rooms and the essentials have been arranged perhaps let them play in the garden. You will all be tired so try to relax and sit down together to have a meal perhaps a take away so you don’t need to cook.
Help them adjust
When the kids have got to know the new house, help them start exploring the local area. Invite the neighbours over to help get a sense of the local community. Inevitably some things will seem strange in your new neighbourhood but remain positive and concentrate on the good things. If you stay cheerful and calm your children will take their cue from you. Find out about local leisure facilities for the whole family and ensure your children have a good mix of activities with plenty of fresh air if possible. Encourage your children to let you know what they are doing and how they feel so that you can diffuse any anxieties.
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