How to make moving house less stressful for children
Moving home can be a stressful experience for parents, but this time of upheaval can also be challenging for children who might feel scared or upset about leaving the familiar environment they have grown used to.
However, with careful planning and encouragement children can begin to see a move as a positive and exciting experience.
There are a range of factors behind why a child might feel apprehensive about moving home.
First of all, your child might feel powerless, for example if you have lived in one property or area for all or a large portion of their life and they feel a strong connection with it. One way to combat this can be to involve your child more in the move. You could take them to a home store and ask them to choose a colour for their new bedroom, or equally take them to a furniture shop to look at buying a new bed or wardrobe. However, although this might work with some children you should be mindful others may crave security and familiarity and may instead prefer to bring along their existing bed rather than purchase a brand new one.
Uncertainty over change can play a big part in a child’s negativity towards a move. They might dread the thought of leaving their friends behind and leaving the places that they have grown used to behind them and equally they might have doubts and fears about the new destination.
To combat this fear you should take them to visit the area at a weekend, taking them to places that they might enjoy such as parks, swimming pools or restaurants. Showing a child that there is plenty to do, see and experience can sure up their confidence.
Every child will be different, however it’s said that younger children are less likely to be upset by a move, while teenagers may be the least favourable due to their understanding and the independent bonds they will have formed.
It’s important, particularly with teenagers, that they are listened too and that they understand why a move is necessary. Involvement is the key and bringing them along to house viewings can be a way to get them to feel involved and excited by the prospect of moving.
While moving day can be chaotic and full of stress, you might wish to have your children help out. Not only could you probably benefit from a pair of extra hands but again they are likely to experience a greater feel of control over what is happening. Unpacking their room first so that they have access to their toys on what can be a very long day might help them feel at ease.