Moving house with children is something that many parents dread, although we are just getting frustrated at the moment because our dream house is not available. Our little tyrants ensure that we are quaking in our boots at the very thought of disrupting their daily routines, and moving to a new house is sure to do just that. The reason for the upset is in large part due to the change. Our babies are creatures of habit so the idea of leaving their rooms, their home, their friends behind and living in a new house is sure to wobble them to their very core. Moving house is stressful enough for us (fairly well adjusted and mature) adults so we can only imagine the strain it can put on the fragile little minds of our halflings.
It’s amazing what strong attachments kids make to their surroundings and to their belongings… As parents, we all learned that the first time we tried to throw out an old broken toy… Ugh, can’t you still hear the blood-curdling screams? (shivers). Home removal pros at Compare My Move say that children become so accustomed to their home and they fear change so it is important to aid them in saying goodbye to their home and getting the much-needed closure they will need to form a new attachment to the new home.
Compare My Move offer up these simple but oh-so-effective tips for helping kids say goodbye to their home.
Get them excited about moving
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that positivity, happiness and excitement are all keys to successfully moving your child to a new home. There will be days during the organising, decluttering, booking your removals where you will want to pull out your hair one strand at a time and curl up in foetal position in the corner… but wait until the kiddywinks are in bed before you have the appropriate mini melt-down. Focus on the positives around the children. If they will finally have their own room or more space, a garden perhaps or maybe you’ll be nearer family. Keep reiterating these positives to the kids.
Film a Video Diary
Let the kids use your smartphone to record a video log of the house. Maybe the last week in the house could be all about this video diary. This is a great way to document your last week in the home and you can film the kids in the house talking about their best memories in each room. You can also have them film you while you do the same. This will give them something fun to do in the run up to moving day which can often be a disruptive and unsettling time.
Scrap Book or Collage
You may feel that the last thing you have time for in the weeks before you are moving house is arts and crafts but if you can fit it in, the kids will love it. Making a scrapbook to remember the old house with is a fun family activity and the finished article will be a really lovely keepsake. You can take the kids school paintings from the fridge and glue them into the book. Take Polaroid pictures and stick them in and write in fun coloured pens next to them what the picture means to you and your children. You can even use an old bit of wallpaper. Glue in a small piece of gravel from the garden or press a flower from the garden and include this in the book. If there just isn’t time for this, then go for something simpler. Take lots of photos and search your existing photographs for any taken in the home of the children over the years and turn this into a collage.
Throw a Goodbye Party
Depending on the age of your children, you could think about having a little get together at the house with their local friends and neighbourhood kids. Have them all round for a playdate, a few snacks and as a nice little touch, you could have them all sign a t-shirt for your child or a makeshift guestbook. This will also make a lovely memento.
Write a letter to the new owners
Finally, the guys at Compare My Move offer up a sweet little idea of having the kids write a letter to the new owners of the house. Have them write what a lovely home it has been for them and wishing them lots of love and happiness in their new home. This will give them that final bit of closure and then, when the last box is on the van and the rooms are empty, the children are not left focussing on the empty home, they are distracted by this important responsibility they have to leave their letters where the new owners will see them.
These are just a few simple but clever tips for easing children through their move. It’s a big transition for kids… And for us. It is worth remembering that even if your child is still really flustered at the thought of moving, kids are so resilient, they will soon adjust.
English cottage image by ShutterStock.