Practical Parenting: Advice On Helping Your Kids Adapt To Moving Home
Did you move house when you were a child?
Moving to a new home as a child is not a universal experience. For some, they’re born and grow up in the same home, with the same street and the same mailbox. The first time they call somewhere else “home” is when they have flown the nest.
For others, life has always been tinged with the risk of being a packrat. They move easily as adults, having already absorbed the sense of impermanence that comes with any residence.
Depending on what your experience of moving was personally, it can be daunting to face it as a parent. Moving homes causes headaches for adults – and we’re the ones in control of the whole process. Imagine being a child, with no control or choice and potentially leaving friends behind. It’s a horrible time, but luckily you as a parent have the power to make it a little more manageable.
Tip 1: Don’t Underestimate Friendships
We know as adults that most friendships are transient, that the kid across the street your child considers their best friend will almost certainly not be in their life at graduation. But for a child, all friendships are permanent – they can’t see an end, and they don’t particularly want to.
When you move, make sure you take consideration for these friendships. They’re going to need a way to communicate in future and, unless you’re moving out of state, a firm date set for when they will next see one another.
Tip 2: Let Them Be Involved
Keeping your children away from what’s happening might seem like you’re preventing them being overburdened. In fact, in most domestic removals advice you will find ideas about how to distract kids away from the practical side of things.
This isn’t a good idea. Children learn by doing; they have a natural instinct to want to be involved. While I’m not suggesting they take trips to the lawyer’s office with you, they can help plan the move or pack – depending on their age, of course.
Tip 3: Be Prepared For Tears and Anxiety
The changes that we as adults go through when we move are hard enough, but they’re all the more confusing for kids. The key for you as a parent is to make sure that you’re accepting, and validating, your child’s emotions.
If they want to cry, let them. Don’t try and distract them with promises about how amazing the new house is. At that moment, all they care about is that something is changing – and it’s completely normal to be upset about that.
Tip 4: Give Them A Role
On moving day itself, having kids around can feel like a distraction. Rather than letting chaos reign, give them one item or moving box that they are solely responsible for. They have to watch over it, make sure it gets to the new place and unpack it once it’s there. If they make it, rustle up a suitable reward – and exhale the worry over how to handle the actual move. You made it, family – and sanity – intact!