As an adult, you’ve probably had to move house several time already; you moved into university accommodation, into a shared house with your friends, and then moved in with your partner. However, moving was always stressful even in the best of circumstances. Moving with children is a whole new challenge. If they’ve lived in the same house their whole life, gone to the same school, and seen the same people on a regular basis, children won’t take kindly to their whole world being turned upside down with their consent.
Unfortunately, if your circumstances have led to you needing to move house, all you can do is find a way to make moving house an exciting adventure.
Even if the reasons behind your move aren’t pleasant ones, you must try to be excited about moving house. Your kids will know if you’re dreading the process, and might come to dread it in turn. Instead of focusing on everything that you’re all going to miss about living in your neighbourhood, make plans for what you’re going to do after you move in. Visit the new house and the surrounding area before moving day so you can all decide where you’d like to go first once all the boxes are unpacked. If you can get into the house before moving day, then have them choose their rooms and start planning how to decorate them.
The more you can make this change seem positive, the easier it will be for them to adjust.
There are some things you have to do yourself, such as paying the deposits, enrolling the kids in new schools, and packing up all the heavy stuff. Unlike when it was just you and your meagre belongings moving house, you know need to factor in the cost of a sofa courier to get all your newly acquired furniture from one house to another. Still, this doesn’t mean the kids can’t get involved in the process.
The younger children can at least be put in charge of packing their own room, and deciding where their furniture will go in the new house. It might also be good to start a charity box for all your clutter. But don’t ask them to get rid of things they no longer play with, because they will soon insist that they’ve always played with everything. Instead, ask them which toys some other little boy or girl would love to play with, and encourage their charitable nature. Put their boxes into the moving van last, so they’re the first to be unloaded into the new house.
Although you’ve done your best to make the move seem positive, your kids will still have to say goodbye to their house and their friends. Try organising a leaving party, so they can see everyone before they go, and take lots of pictures to remember them. Get everyone’s names and addresses so that your kids can stay in touch if they choose.
Have you got at tips for moving with children? Anyone attempted with a new-born?!
Note: This is a collaborative post.