Moving house with children can add extra stress to an already stressful occasion. Moving house can be stressful enough without having to worry about your kids. But you love them a lot, and are quite understandably concerned as to what effect moving house will have on them.
Children cope with a house move far better than expected, provided they receive the right kind of support and guidance. The most important thing to do is to portray the house move as a positive experience, even if it's for a difficult reason such as divorce. Children will have memories of their old house and friends in the area, so it's important to let them know they don't have to abandon either; they just have to live somewhere different.
Don't worry if you're getting anxious thinking about how your children will cope. We've put together some handy tips that should ease your pain, so read on and find out more:
Remember: moving house is stressful for children too
Leaving friends, possessions and memories behind can really take its toll, and children may bottle up their feelings and not mourn correctly, creating potential problems at a later date. Prepare for your move in plenty of time so you can spend time talking to your children to make sure they are as happy as possible.
Remain upbeat, and inform your children about the move as early as possible
Moving house is not a bad thing; it's a change, yes, but it can be a very positive change. Remain upbeat and happy, and make sure you let your children know about the move as soon as possible. This will give them the maximum chance possible to get used to the idea.
Encourage your children to become involved with the house move
Giving them a degree of control can help them to feel less overwhelmed by the experience. Depending on their age, you may wish to let them pack up the contents of their room. If you have to go into the loft, ask your children if they'd like to come: the novelty of the experience may help reduce their anxiety.
Get your kids' feedback on the new home
If they are encouraged to share their feelings, they will gradually begin to open up more. Once you know what they like and don't know about the new house, you can customise it to make them more open to the idea of moving. So if they don't like the walls in their room, you can promise them you'll paint it whatever colour they want after you've moved in.
Give your old house a positive goodbye
Explore memories with your children before you leave. Take a walk round your old house and discuss what happy memories you have from each room and how the house will always be important to you. Children should be encouraged to mourn positively, and be ready to move on to the next stage in their life.
Making moving day special
Ensure excitement is in the air on moving day. Pack a variety of toys and games to keep younger children occupied in the car, and treat everyone to a special meal. Discuss how exciting the new house will be, and encourage your children to open up and share their thoughts.
Make your first night in your new home even more special
Encourage younger children to pack a 'special bag' that contains all of their home comforts. The first night in an unfamiliar house can be quite daunting, so making them feel at home is especially important. If you know they're a big fan of board games, make sure your first night includes a game of Monopoly.
Children will inevitably come round to the idea of moving house, so don't beat yourself up about it too much. Just ensure you follow these handy tips and you'll be giving your kids the support and guidance needed to ensure they come round to the idea happily and voluntarily.
For more help and support as you move check out our removals advice section, filled with useful tips and tricks to reduce stress levels and keep you smiling. Good luck with your house move.