Moving is traumatic for everyone, and kids can be the most susceptible. Grown-ups get to call the shots: moving for work, moving to be closer to better schools, moving to upgrade, but children don’t have perspective on these things.
All they see is their childhood home being abandoned, their friends living impossible distances away, and their scant worldly possessions being boxed up. Moves are a tectonic shift, but here are a few good pieces of advice on moving with children without causing an earthquake.
Here are a few tips on how to move house with kids:
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What to be wary of when moving house with children
Different ages and different children will give different reactions, but the most common stress factors when moving house with children will induce these results:
- Problems with sleep
- New odd habits that haven’t come up before, like thumb sucking, or clinging to you constantly for younger children
- Trouble concentrating
- Headaches or stomach aches
How to move house with children under 5
For kids under five years of age, you might not see any problem. Truth is, by that time, it’s rare for kids to have established a very strong connection to the old home, or the people around it. They’re very curious and would like to explore new places and see new things.
So, as long as they know a family is here, they will get used to the new place fast.
One thing you need to be careful with is to not make promises you cannot keep. The child is extremely impressionable at this stage. And, if you promise they will have a brand new video game console in the new place, and then say it won’t happen, the child will lose trust.
Don’t forget to get your children entertained on the day of the move. They don’t understand the stress that their parents go through during this tricky time. It’s best to find a way to distract them from the moving process in order to reduce stress levels. BoxForts are a range of humble cardboard boxes to help inject a bit of fun into the experience for families moving home.
How to move house with children over 5
Children can often be underestimated, but they are capable beyond our comprehension. When it comes time to move, consult with them. If you take kids along to look at potential houses, allow them to have a voice in the neighbourhood you choose, or even pick their own room, it’s less of a move and more of a family project.
- Entrust Tasks
Have you ever noticed how the most menial tasks contain profound joy for children? Kids seem to find some irrational joy in any number of menial tasks. Give them something to do to help in the process of moving, like pack their own toys and label the boxes.
- Visit the new place
If you can afford a trip to the new place before the move, do so. Show them their new room. Ask which colour they would want the walls repainted. Basically, let them have a say.
- Give time to say goodbye
Prepare for the most adorable child hugs, as your kids say goodbye to their friends. At this age, there might not be too many emotions like with teens and it’s true younger kids take to change a lot easier. But still, make sure to watch whether there aren’t any signs of sadness after the first week.
- Find new activities
The best way to make a child accustomed to a new place is to give them things to do. The best thing you can do is sign them up for after-school sports, or art classes. It’s the age where kids need to try just about everything to find out what they like to do. And once they find it, pay special attention to their development.
- Don’t cut down on hugs.
This is an obvious one, kids will always need your hugs to know they’re safe and secure. They show them everything is okay.
How to move with teenage children
Unlike young children, teens understand why the family is moving and have a firmer grasp of what’s happening. If they’re still reluctant or seems like they’re too quiet, here’s what you need to do:
- Talk with your teen
Best way to make sure that your child knows why you’re moving and realizes the benefits and/or disadvantages. Make sure not to be too invasive, when asking for a talk and don’t push your teen to speak about things they don’t want to. The goal is to establish the fact that everything is going to be alright and you are always here for support.
- Schedule the move in summer
If you have the freedom to choose, do not move house during the school year. It will only make your teen’s studies harder and might be the cause of a drop in grades. Not to mention uncomfortable experience with new schoolmates.
- Give enough time for goodbyes
Your teen already has made a lot of friends at the old place, so the more time they have to say goodbye, the better. Good thing in today’s age is that friends aren’t really that far apart, thanks to social media.
- Watch for signs of depression
You’ll usually notice a total change in behaviour, too much silence, and lethargy. It might also be more aggressive. Reasons are usually connected with other people. Miss friends too much. Old friends stopped keeping in touch too soon. No prospects of new friends. Possible bullying. These things take time to be fixed, but the good news is that most teens just need to vent for a particular time period and later get better on their own. If not, get in touch with professional help, even just for a few questions. It might be enough.
- Help with studies
Even if you did move in summer, grades might still experience a drop. Be it because of depression, or just a typical rebellious stage, you’ll need to lend a hand with your child’s studies. Maybe hire a personal tutor, or just look for after-school activities that might be an object of interest, and can be applied in a professional development field in the future. There are a lot of ways to get around this one.
- Give personal space
You probably know, teens are in the stage where nothing is more important than their independence. Make sure your teen knows you’re treating them like an adult. If this isn’t obvious, you won’t get a good result.
Moving with kids will be a little burdening on moving day, but just a little. It can be a little more stressful if the move is of a larger scale, such as when moving from the UK to Germany – a step many British decided to take after the vote for Brexit. If you’ve got a team of amateurs moving your entire life, the results could be ugly. Instead, you can call our professional removal company based in London. Moves are tough, but your kids are tougher.