Moving house can be stressful and unsettling time for all of us. But it can be especially tough on children. Because of this, some people try to keep it a secret from their children for as long as possible. But this really does more harm than good.
If you are about to move house, it is really important to keep your kids informed and included in the process. There’s a lot to do to get ready and you will achieve so much more if the smallest (and loudest) members of your house on your side!
Here are our top 5 tips for telling the kids:
1. Don’t hide it from them – Your kids will pick up on the fact that something is going on. It’s far better to be open with them than have them worry what all the whispers and anxious faces could be about.
2. Be honest about why you’re moving (even if it’s for a less than ideal reason) and be very clear about what happens next.
3. Try to maintain your normal day to day routine as much as possible in the lead up to the move.
4. Explore the new neighbourhood together – Perhaps a play in the local park, a treat at the local cafe or a visit to check out their new school.
5. Give them responsibilities to ensure they are involved in the process – Ask them to help you make a to-do list. Give older children a box and tell them they are responsible for packing the games etc.
If your child is really anxious about the move, try diverting their attention away from themselves and onto the family pet or a younger sibling. Explain how the pet or baby brother/sister may get scared during the move so you need them to take extra special care of their dog/cat or baby brother/sister on the day. This becomes a project for the child to focus on and gives them a sense of responsibility and pride.