In a perfect world, moving house would be a stress-free experience. Sadly, life isn’t so perfect. You know and we know that moving house is stressful. Not only do you have to sell your house, but there are all those other things that can make moving difficult. Packing boxes, raising finance, sorting out the man with the van – we recommend Shiply – and all manner of other tasks that are guaranteed to raise your blood pressure. Like many people, you probably regret the decision to move house in the first place!
Of course, you aren’t the only one going through stress. Your children will be feeling the effects of it too. They are being forced into a transition they have probably had no say over. Moving to a new area and a new school may be exciting for some, but for others, it can be a source of nervous anticipation. Then there is moving day itself! While you’re running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything organised, you are in danger of neglecting your children who may be reacting to the stress you are feeling. You need to make the day easier on them. Here are a few tips for their benefit, as well as yours.
- Give them a job to do. While heavy lifting is not part of their remit, you can still give them small tasks which will give them some focus. Not only will this keep your kids out from under your feet, but it will also help them take some ownership of the moving process.
- Don’t pack away their favourite toys. If your children are unable/unwilling to help with the move, at least give them a toy or a game to play with while you’re busy elsewhere. This is especially useful for young children, as they may be worried that they don’t have access to those things that are familiar to them. A teddy bear can be a real stress-soother when there is chaos happening all around them.
- Make time for goodbyes. Particularly for school-age children, they will be upset at saying goodbye. Make time for this before leaving, whether it’s saying farewell to friends and neighbours, or actually saying goodbye to the house itself. After all, it has been their home for a while, so a farewell ceremony may just make the parting easier on them.
- Listen to your children. While some children will be bubbling with enthusiasm on moving day, others will be upset and grieving. If you see your child upset, don’t tell them to ‘‘grow up,’ or use any other insensitive words in the face of their emotions. Console them when you have to, listen to anything they have to say, and remind them of the many positive things ahead (such as a new bedroom) as a result of the house move.
- First day in the new house. This will be an unfamiliar time, and for some children, quite unnerving. Alleviate their stress by sticking to something familiar. This may be unpacking some of their boxes first, so they have something of their ‘old life’ to focus on. You should also stick to familiar routines, such as bath time and bedtime, letting your children know that not everything is different. Eventually, they will adapt to the new situation and hopefully, appreciate it.
(image) Don’t forget their toys!!
Moving house is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overly traumatic for everybody. By following our tips, you will make things easier on the kids, and in the process, make moving day easier on yourself as well. Let us know if you have any further tips.