Moving home is a stressful situation for everybody. Leaving the home and area you knew so well and exchanging it for something unknown is scary. Think of how your children feel. They don’t understand as well as you do the opportunities that await. Sometimes all they see is leaving their friends, and their local hangouts, and having to accept a huge change. The instability can be deeply troubling for kids. Read through these tips for settling children in quickly…
Let your children choose their room, or at least give them options for a few different rooms. This will help them to feel excited about the move. They will also feel like they have ownership over a room in this new house, which will help them to settle. Before unpacking other rooms and making them homey, work on your children’s bedrooms. Blank walls and floors can feel uninspiring and sad. Quickly show them that they can make it comfortable and familiar. Make your kids' beds with linen that they’re used to seeing, this will help to make them feel more at home.
As soon as possible, install some structure into the new home. Set up the dining room with a table to eat at and create a play area. Some routine and organization will help your kids to settle in quickly. Make sure you stick to bathtime and bedtime every night to let your child know what to expect and help them feel stable again.
Get your children involved in the local community. This is great for them, but also for you. It means they can make friends and start to create a new life. Find out where your local park is and visit it with your kids before the move. That way when you move in it won’t all be scary and new. It’s far easier to tell your children you're going to the park you had a great time at last week than a scary new place. If your children have braces or glasses, get them set up at an orthodontist and find an eye doctor before you move. Similarly, scope out the local schools, sign up to the library, and the doctors.
It’s okay for your children to feel upset. It’s perfectly natural and they need to be allowed to express their fears and frustrations. By talking them through you’ll be able to help them come to terms with their negative feelings. You don’t need to agree with the negatives but you do need to hear your children out. If they are missing their old friends, tell them they will make new ones, but also let them invite their old friends around to your new place. This gentle encouragement should help them to feel less emotional about the move. They’ll also start to see that they haven’t left their old life combined. This new home and their old life can still combine.