Moving home can be a fairly stressful time for people. When children are involved, it can become especially challenging. Regardless of the situation, when you move homes you are going to want to have the smoothest relocation humanly possible.
Children are well known to be sensitive to changes or disruptions in their lives and moving to a new location is no different. This is mainly down to social circles, environment familiarity amongst many other factors.
If you have kids, depending on their age, you may want to consider alternative methods of dealing with them when it comes to moving to a new area.
In this guide, we’ll give you top tips on how to deal with each age group starting with babies, kids going to primary school, and lastly, children who are attending secondary school.
Relocating With A Baby / Toddler
This is probably the easiest of the age groups to deal with as their entire mindset is dependent on others. Studies have also shown that families were more likely to move than older children.
The main goal with babies and toddlers is to make sure that the current routine is followed with as few disruptions as humanly possible.
Tips On What To Say: With babies, no real explanation is needed, if you have a toddler, you may need to speak to them gently and reassuringly of the move.
An excellent tactic to help visualise what is happening with toddlers is through the use of cartoons or even toys. You’ll want to naturally reassure your child that nothing will affect them personally and that you will be with them right from the word go.
Parenting Tips: Babies and Toddlers thrive most in an environment that is familiar to them (this includes routine). Ensure that you pack all the essentials regardless of your child being a new-born or a toddler.
These include items such as :
- Nappies / Diapers
- Baby Monitor
- Crib or a Cradle
- Additional Gear
Moving With Kids: Primary School
Although not always widely realised, children at this age can be sensitive to changes, and relocating is no different.
Rather than keeping your kids in the dark about the move, it is advised to let them know about your upcoming move as soon as possible. This helps them prepare for the change in their lives.
Tips On What To Say to Say: As a parent, your job will be to break the news to your child gently, whilst keeping the conversation positive.
You will want to highlight that change isn’t bad, while discussing the obvious benefits of moving to a new location. Making the move sound exciting often helps, especially if your new house will come with exciting facilities such as a pool, a shed, or is a two-floor home.
Comparing the improvements from your current location can often help plant a positive seed in kids’ minds.
You can even use visuals such as Google maps to show them exactly where they will be moving to in order to help them prepare.
Parenting Tips: To summarise, provide comfort and reassurance. Children can be sensitive at this age and by speaking about the topic in a reassuring and positive tone of voice, you can help your child feel like they’re in more control of the situation.
This is especially useful when it comes to anxious children.
Moving With Kids: Secondary School
This age bracket is probably the most challenging to deal with.
Older children often will have built up a solid friendship with other kids in the area.
Moving can often present them with uncertainty and you may also encounter some resistance.
Tips On What To Say: Although your child might not like the decision to move, it is best to let them know about the change in advance and as early as possible.
By doing this, it will give them time to process the upcoming change in their lives and eventually accept that they will be moving. It will also show your children that you have considered their feelings carefully, as they will need plenty of time to come round to the idea and say their goodbyes to friends.
You may find that your child becomes distant from you, but this is to be expected considering the big change in their lives. They may also spend a lot of time with their friends before moving day.
The key here is to reduce as much friction as possible and to play an understanding role.
Parenting Tips: Be completely transparent with your child. If you have a moving plan/calendar then you can share it with them and give them the date for the move.
One good tip that can work is suggesting that your child gets more actively involved with the planning of the new location. You can give them a moving checklist to use to help with the preparations as a fun activity and if you are extra lucky you may find that your child starts to embrace the move.
Moving to a new home is never easy and it’s no surprise that many people find this time stressful. Kids can add another dimension to the complexity of the move but age is a factor in this.
Regardless of the situation, it is always best to prepare for all scenarios as best as you can well in advance. Planning helps reduce complications and friction especially if you live with older children.