Moving home as a family unit is a big upheaval for everyone involved. While the logistics and practicalities cause stresses and strains for the adults, spare a thought for the little ones. They don’t tend to understand why mummy and daddy are so busy or stressed, and often do not see why they are moving at all as it is a decision that they have no control over. When moving home a child tends to dwell on the obvious losses – the safe environment, the familiar layout, maybe friends at school. We know moving home is one of the greatest stresses we will ever face in our lives, and the impact it can have on our children can be immense and should not be underestimated. There are a few things that can be done in the build-up to the move that can make things just that little bit easier however, and with good planning you can get your children excited about the move, rather than feeling distressed. The main point is to open dialogue with your child as early as possible, and continue to do so little and often. Show them a picture of their new home, perhaps let them choose a room in which to live and give them plenty of information to allow them time to come around to the idea. Paint a positive picture, which of course moving home should be anyway, and if old enough try to get the child involved with the move as much as possible in order to make them feel part of the whole process. Speak to them about their new room, what colour they would like to decorate it and so on in order to build a sense of excitement and purpose. Just be prepared for questions, and lots of them. In order to build a sense of trust, take your child or children to the new area, and into their new home ahead of time if at all possible. This will help to build familiarity and a feeling of safety in their new surroundings. If all goes to plan the little ones should settle in quickly. Of course it isn’t just the children that need looking after during a moving period. As adults we tend to concentrate on the negatives, and during a move there always seem to be plenty of them. The feeling of chaos can be unsettling and lead to a bout of poor health if proper measures are not taken. The best way to avoid high stress levels is quite simple; get organised and do it early. The more thorough your game plan the less likely anything is to go wrong, and this provides a good sense of comfort. If you are hiring professionals to help you with your move do this early as that expertise will also help preventing any form of panic setting in. If you start early and plan well, a house move should be incredibly manageable. Share tasks equally, and talk amongst each other to make sure things are on track. Try to sleep well – you do not need to stay up packing until 4am if you have given yourself enough time. A lack of sleep and high stress levels are a sure-fire way to provide that spark for an argument; an event which can be incredibly unproductive and even destructive in terms of the progress of your move. Moving home is a fresh start for you and the rest of the family; do everything you can to ensure it starts off on the right foot.
Moving House: Putting the Family First
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