Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Kids Nervous About Moving House? Here's What to Do

Moving home can be an incredibly stressful time in our lives, in fact its recognised as one of the top 5 most stressful events in most peoples lives - but as adults we're able to recognise this, understand that it won't be stressful forever and take steps to make the process as easy as it can possibly be.

Whether it's organising professional movers to assist us with the difficult tasks involved with moving home, ensuring a quick house sale or simply practising anti-stress techniques such as mindfulness and breathing exercises to help bring our emotions into balance - there are various things we can do in order to calm ourselves and make the experience more bearable.

But for children, it's not so easy. 

Moving home can lead to anxiety, fear of the unknown and uncertainty as well as potential feelings of sadness and upheaval for children. So what can we do to help make the process easier for them and reassure them?

Be Positive

This is the single most important thing, if you do nothing else on this list - doing this will still make a huge difference to your children's experience.

Children pick up on our words and emotions much more than we usually realise, so if you're feeling anxious or down about the house move - it's important to try not to let that show in front of your children as much as possible.

If our children only hear positive things about moving home, they are more likely to accept it as a happy experience and therefore worry less about it.

Of course that's not to say that grief and anxiety shouldn't be honoured - encourage your children to talk about how they feel, you could even use children's story books about moving home to help them to explore their feelings. But try to ensure that they hear a lot of positive talk about the upcoming move.

Get Them Involved

There are lots of ways you can get children involved in the process of moving home and doing so will make them more likely to feel as though they have some control over the situation, and therefore feel less anxious about it.

You could organise a day trip to your new area and explore what's around. 

You can get them involved in packing up their bedrooms and labelling their boxes.

You can even have them decide on decor ideas for their new bedroom, and maybe even let them get hands-on with it - allowing them to help with painting walls or doors. 

Toys Go Last

One of my personal techniques is to ensure that childrens toys and prized possessions are always the last thing to be loaded on to the moving van. 

This means that they're the first thing to come off when you reach your new home, which helps to create a familiarity in your new home immediately and provides comfort for children. It also gives them something to keep busy with as they can unpack in their bedroom while you're doing other things.

Make A Memory Book

Making a scrapbook of memories from your current home can be a great way to honour any feelings of sadness around a house move.

It's always tempting to try to sweep sad feelings under the rug because it's awful to see a child upset over something that can't be changed, but doing so will only make them more nervous - instead take the time to talk through their feelings, reassure them that it's ok to be sad but that sometimes change can be a good thing.

Use a scrapbook to write in favourite memories and keep things like photos of your home and any special areas like their bedroom or measurement charts on walls. You can also stick in wallpaper pieces, flower pressings from your garden and any other memorabilia that your child would like to record.

Focus On Excitement

Once your house move is complete, try to focus your child's attention on the new and exciting.

You could come up with some fun tasks to help them focus on the good aspects of your house move, such as finding the best local pizza place or finding your new favourite local play park.

I hope that these tips are useful in helping your child to adjust to moving home. Please feel free to share your own tips below.

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