Moving homes is a big process that can bring with it a swell of mixed emotions and challenges. This is especially true when moving with kids. The profound attachment that children feel to the familiar environment of their home can make the exciting decision to move houses feel more like a daunting leap into the unknown. However, if done right, children can be supported throughout the moving process and helped to feel brave and excited. Clear communication, preparation and patience in navigating such a period of uncertainty can ultimately help a child to become more resilient and adaptable to change.
In this article we will discuss some of the common concerns and challenges faced by parents going through a home relocation with their children. We will also provide some of the best tips and advice to dealing with these challenges in order to ensure that you and your family can have a smooth and rewarding transition to your new home. For more help with any of the topics covered here, get in touch with our experienced move consultants. We offer free quotes for all our services, simply give us a call on 0800 255 433 or fill out the quote request form today.
Is Moving During Childhood Harmful?
This is one of the most common questions and concerns that parents have when considering a home relocation with children. The simple answer is no. Moving is a part of life and is not an inherently harmful or even negative thing for a child. Growing up without any movement or change in your life is simply not realistic, nor desirable, as it wouldn’t prepare you for the real world.
However, that doesn’t mean that moving can’t be harmful - if it’s not done right. If you were to tell your child the day of the move that they would be leaving and never see their home again, then the shock, suddenness and secrecy might cause some resentment or trauma. The important thing is to bring your child in on the process, make them feel involved and ensure they feel supported.
How To Prepare Kids For Moving House
Give Yourself Time
The more time you have to prepare your family emotionally and logistically for the move, the better. Not all moves can be made with plenty of warning, but the key is to take as much time as available. Some parents make the mistake of hiding the reality of a move from their children under the misconception that this is “protecting” them. The truth is that this is disadvantageous to the child as it takes away precious time that they need to accept and adapt to the change. The solution is to give your child all the time at your disposal by informing them of the move as soon as possible. Not only will this extra time give your child time to adjust to the new reality, it will also enable you to begin booking your moving services and planning your logistics as early as possible.
Ask For Help
There is always help available and you should never be afraid to ask for it. Moving with children is a challenge with many moving parts, but it’s not something you have to conquer on your own. Reaching out to friends and family is always a good first step. Whether it’s help with babysitting or an extra set of hands while packing, a little bit of assistance can make all the difference to the success of your move and your level of stress throughout the process. While friends and family are a good source of help, they might not always be available or nearby to lend a hand. That’s why we offer a comprehensive range of moving services that covers everything you could possibly need before, during and after a move. Whether it’s valet packing and unpacking services to help free up your schedule, or pet and vehicle transportation services, our friendly movers are always available to give you the help you need.
Prepare a Box of Essentials
A box of essentials is recommended for anyone moving homes. It provides easy access to all of the items you might need during your first couple nights in your new home. It prevents the need to search through all of your boxes every time you need to brush your teeth or take some medicine. This box of essentials is even more important when moving with kids. In addition to all of the ‘standard essentials’ that one might pack, you should also prepare a box of everything your kids might need, want or scream out for in the middle of the night. From favourite toys to beloved books and cherished pillows or blankets. Anything that you have ever used to calm your kids down or perk them up should be included in the essentials box. Don’t forget to also include all of your child’s medicine, toiletries and clothes so you don’t have to go digging through moving boxes when bedtime rolls around.
Bring a Nightlight
New environments can evoke fresh fears and anxieties in children, especially in the dark. Nightlights have been proven to alleviate such anxiety and help kids adjust to new settings. Whether it’s helping them get used to the new surroundings, or helping them find their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, a nightlight is a crucial tool for helping kids make a smooth transition to a new home. Make sure you include a high quality nightlight in your essentials box.
Familiarise Your Kids With The Neighbourhood
In the lead up to your moving date, it can be useful to begin exploring your new neighbourhood to help your kids familiarise themselves with the environment. This option may not be applicable to all moves, especially if you are moving long distance or internationally. For those who can, making weekend expeditions to the local cafes and parks around your new home can foster a sense of familiarity and comfort with the new suburb.
Talk About It And Make It An Adventure
In addition to visiting your new neighbourhood, discussing the move and your upcoming plans can also help to familiarise your child with the changes they are about to experience. Rather than keeping them in the dark, bringing your child into the discussions and the planning phase can allow them to feel included, in control and even excited about the move. The more say they have in the actions, the more empowered they will feel. This can help to mitigate anxieties and foster a sense of courage and anticipation. Wherever possible, you can turn mundane activities into games and challenges in order to develop an overall sense of adventure about the move. Whether it’s exploring the new neighbourhood, packing their toys or selling unwanted items in a garage sale, gamifying the process can make it fun and engaging for your child.
While creating a sense of adventure can help your child to embrace the changes, maintaining old rituals and traditions can help them retain a sense of home and to experience an element of continuity in their lives. Everything from breakfast rituals, bedtime routines and outdoor time, to celebrating birthdays and Christmas can be a chance for your child to be comforted by the familiar in order to better adapt to the novel. You don’t need to recreate your daily lives in order to inject a little bit of familiarity into your new home. If your child has been feeling unsettled, try asking them what it is they miss the most and see if there’s a way to incorporate that into your new home.
Take Lots Of Breaks
This links back to the first point, give yourself time and take lots of breaks. There’s no rush to accomplish all of your unpacking straight away. While you might want to be done with the moving process, taking a bit of extra time to rest might be exactly what your child needs. Doing everything all at once can be very overwhelming for a child during a period of intense transition. Give yourself permission to relax wherever possible and to accept that it might take a little longer than you hoped to truly be done with the move. Unpacking all of your boxes isn’t the only measure of success. Providing your child with the time and support they need to feel comfortable in the new environment is the true marker. It takes time, but try to enjoy it wherever possible.
Get Help For Your Move
To find out more about the range of services we offer to help with your move, get in touch with our friendly team. Our experienced movers can help with every step of the relocation, from planning to unpacking and everything in between. Whether you want some experienced advice for moving with children, or you’re looking for an extra set of hands on moving day, our team is happy to help. Contact us today on 0800 255 433 or by filling out the online quote request form.