Since having my first child eight years ago, I have moved house a grand total of six times! That’s a lot of moving around in a relatively short period of time and I have managed to pick up a fair bit of experience over the years. If you are planning on moving house with young children, these are the five tips I have learnt along the way.
Get Them Involved
Moving house is one of the most stressful events in life. It ranks up there with getting married, divorced and having children so it’s no surprise that it can cause anxiety for all involved and that includes children. To help ease the whirlwind of emotions for young kids, make sure they are fully aware of what’s going on and involve them each step of the way where possible. Find out what they would like their new house to be like, and ask their opinion when looking around potential properties. On moving day, give them special tasks to feel involved and keep them occupied whilst the heavy lifting is going on. A special takeaway as a treat on that first evening in a new house is the perfect chance to reconnect as a family and get excited about your new start.
Although you may have moved house often, it is a new experience for young children who have lived in the same house their whole life. To prepare them for the change in advance, head online or to the library and pick up books around the subject to familiarise them with what’s likely to happen. There are tonnes of books out there for various age ranges, from Mr Men to Topsy & Tim.
Let Them Pack
I’m not suggesting handing the reigns over completely when it comes to packing up a child’s room, but make sure they are involved in the process. It is important for them to understand that all their belongings will be coming with them to the new house, and the change is not to be feared. Make sure that their boxes are unpacked as quickly as possible when you get to your new home, so that they can get used to their new environment. Encourage them to find homes for their toys and books in their new room and remember to reassure them that it is perfectly normal to feel unsure at first, but they’ll soon be used to it.
Explain What’s Happening
A house move can be scary for young children. There might be new people in the house whilst an agent shows people around and house removals companies helping pack everything up and transport it across to the new home. Find time amongst the hustle and bustle to sit and talk things through with your child so they are aware of the process and what is coming next. Don’t be afraid to answer questions that might not have the ‘right’ answers, it is good to explain everything properly, even if it covers tricky subjects such as parents moving to live in separate homes.
Explore the Area
As well as a new house, you might have moved to a completely new area, or even a different part of the country. Take time out from the unpacking to explore the area with the children. If they have moved school, make sure you have a trial of the school run and find places of interest such as the local shop, play park and swimming pool. Even if you have just moved a short distance away, walking on foot in the roads around your new house will be an adventure for young children.
This is a sponsored post, however all words are my own.