There’s no denying it, moving home can be a difficult and stressful event. Every family that moves experiences some loss, sadness, and apprehension – this is natural!
However, whilst those feelings of uncertainty are swiftly followed with excitement and expectation, that it not always the case for everyone. It is, therefore, extremely important that every member of the family is catered for during any move…after all they’ll be living there too!
- Get them ready
Give them time to digest before the move takes place – how much time will depend on age. If they happen to be very young, then aim to give them at least a month. This is enough time for them to digest the idea but still makes it clear that the move will happen. The older they get, the longer you could give them. Teenagers will want to feel involved, and parents need to understand that their offspring will need to figure out how to maintain their current friendships and relationships.
- Talk about the move
Make sure that you highlight what will stay the same, as well as what will change. This is important as it means your children can begin to imagine what their new lives will look like, as well as giving them the security they need to embrace change.
Moreover, take them to the new house, encourage them to explore the area, point out particular places that will be important to them. If they are older, go through the transport links, how they will keep in touch with their current friends, or get to the clubs they currently attend.
- Give them some control
Give them as much responsibility as you feel is right. Responsibility will encourage them to invest in the move, while making them feel secure about the changes happening around them.
For a young child, this could be the colour of the walls in their room, or perhaps some new toys. For older children, give them greater range, particularly if it involves something they are passionate about. Allowing them to influence you is important and will provide an opportunity for you to learn more about you children.
This is absolutely key.
If your child is younger, teach them how to meet new people, give them a game plan on how to treat the new situations they may come across, or, if the local children all play a certain game, give them some lessons. If they’re older, encourage them to join new clubs, and make the necessary allowances to encourage them to make friends – maybe pizza night isn’t such a bad idea?!
- Expect regression
This could come in many forms, from the younger ones crying, to the teenagers just being grumpy! It is entirely normal for everyone to feel a little uneasy long after the move has actually finished.