GET A MOVE ON, KIDS!
“But Mum … we don’t want to move!”
It must be one of the sentences parents dread when it comes to moving to a new home but, if you’ve lived in the same house pretty much all your children’s lives then, to them, the prospect of such fundamental change is bound to be viewed with a degree of trepidation.
If the dreaded sentence comes in the middle of a fraught debate with your partner over what you can realistically afford when it comes to a mortgage or when you’ve just put the phone on your solicitor who had some bad news about your survey, it might be easy to push such childish objections aside.
You may have moved several times in your life already and you may well be certain the kids will be fine once they’ve got used to the idea of living somewhere new – and you’re probably right. But try to remember it’s a whole new experience for them.
They’ll be leaving behind everything familiar, from friends to the room they’ve grown up in so far; even if you’ve already tried to present it as an adventure, it’s still going to be a little scary.
So what can you do to make it a little less of an ordeal?
Accentuate The Positives
If you’re a parent, you’ll no doubt be used to getting the kids on your side over anything by accentuating the positives of whatever it is you’re planning; moving house is no different. It’s also easier to reassure your children if they feel involved in making choices right from the start.
Their Opinions Matter
When it comes to choosing the property, why not ask for their opinions? If you like one house in particular, why not try to spin a web of intrigue and interest around it with a story or two about the area, who might live in a house like this and what you might be able to find in the area?
Things To Do
If they like sport or have a hobby, it’s not a bad idea to do a bit of internet research to see if there’s anything in the area which matches their interests. When you do a viewing, ask the vendors if there are other children in the area who yours might befriend?
If the new place has a room you have no other immediate use for, why not offer it as a games room – a place they can hang out with friends which isn’t just their bedroom? These days, a good internet connection is also vital to anyone aged eight or over so that might be worth underlining too.
Kids Come First
And, when it comes to moving, there are a few tricks involved in helping to keep your child calm. For example, if they have a familiar or a favourite toy or teddy, make sure it’s easily to hand. Also, it’s not a bad idea to unpack the kids’ belongings first. That way, they’re already installed and finding homes for their own familiar stuff while you get on with sorting through yours.
There’s no doubt Moving Day is a tough one. There are bound to be challenges; there always are. But try to remain calm and not show your frustration or annoyance and, just as soon as it’s over, try to maintain the adventure by taking your children with you when you visit new places and spend some time exploring together if you can.
If they have friends from your old place who would like to come to stay, why not? Again, it will help your children adjust and perhaps feel not quite so far removed from their old life.
But, as they find their feet over time, new friends are bound to appear. Your old home will probably always have a special place and be remembered with fondness – but young minds are resilient and adapt quickly and protests about moving are likely to be as forgotten as the packing boxes within a month or two.
Hopefully, some of the above is a help but, if there’s any other advice you’re looking for, why not browse some of the earlier posts on our blog or even give us a call or drop us a line. We’d be happy to assist if we can.