Moving Home: Strategies to support young children
Posted on July 31, 2019
Moving home can be an extremely stressful and unsettling time for the whole family and particularly children. Change of house, community, friends, school – stress levels can accumulate quickly leading to serious changes in health and behavior. Here we look at some great ways to soften the impact of a move on your children
YOU: Lets start by looking after yourself, as we know that a key stress trigger for children is the actions and behavior of their parents. So look after yourself everyway you can – sleep well, eat well, minimize alcohol intake, relax, and stay calm. Our years of experience prove that forward planning is the best way to reduce the stress of moving home, as it will help you identify a potential problem and allow you to solve it before it becomes an issue. A good example of this would be to select your Mover and book the removal dates well in advance.
KIDS: They will be feeling a whole heap of mixed emotions – anxiety, sadness, fears – so we advocate involving your kids in the process from an early stage, this will give them the time they need to process the information, answer the questions that will come up, and mentally prepare for the changes. Kids love routine, so try as best as you can to retain some of the routines in their lives – eating together, play time, TV shows etc.
Of course younger children may struggle to grasp the reasons or necessity for the move, and the changes that will come from it. So story telling can help them better comprehend and prepare. Susan Laing of www.creativelivingwithchildren.com came up with this fantastic story which you can adapt to fit your family – we loved it. The story can be repeated as often as they need it.
A story for James and Jeremy
Once upon a time there were two small blonde boys. One was called James and he was five years old. The other was called Jeremy and he was three years old. They lived with their Daddy and their Mummy and a cat and a rabbit and the birds in the garden. They lived happily in a little white house in a green yard with roses that bloomed and smelt sweet.
One day their Daddy came home with very exciting news. “Hey, keep your hats on! We are going on an adventure!” The little boys came running and sat on his lap and said, “Tell us! Tell us, Daddy!” And he did…
He told them that they were going to move to a new house, in another town, where the tall mountains meet the sea and they were going to have all sorts of adventures together. They would have a new garden where they could play different sorts of games and a new kitchen where they could make some biscuits for when their friends came to visit (and maybe they could eat some themselves). They would have their own beds and pictures, and their pets and all their toys would come along to be part of the adventure together.
Mummy was pleased too because… they would be able to see Uncle Robert and Auntie Natalie more often and … Sometimes the boys and their Mummy and Daddy would visit Uncle, Auntie and the little cousins and sit out in their garden under the big tree and drink juice. Sometimes Aunt and Uncle and the cousins would come to visit their family in their new house and the boys would help to make pancakes for a surprise…Or they would all meet in the market on Saturday morning after the shopping…Daddy was pleased because he would be working again and they would all have the money to go to the zoo…
And Grandma and Grandpa would come to visit them and the boys would make a welcome cake to have for their tea, and make a bed for them to sleep in….
The boys would make a ‘goodbye and thank you’ card with Mummy’s help to give their old friends next door and they could tell them all about their coming adventures and invite their friends to come to visit them…
In their new home they would all make new friends and find new things to do…
Sometimes they might feel sad that they were leaving their friends, but adventures were like that. They needed courage. When they made new friends they would have old friends and new friends and have so many candles to light for their friends at special times that they would nearly run out of candles! They would have a board on the wall with all their friend’s pictures on it so they could send their love to them whenever they liked. They could make a rainbow from their own hearts to those they loved and send their love along its beautiful colours. They could even send their love with the birds in the garden because, as we know, little birds always have cousins in other places to help deliver the messages for us. And of course all their loving angels would go right along, wherever they were, and enjoy the adventure as well…
Sometimes they would still all go up to the lake on holiday together like they always did and they would swim and go out in the boat…And at Christmas they would all get together again….
…And after Daddy had told them the next part of their adventure the two small boys would go off to bed and tell their toys all about it and sleep very well indeed.
BUILDING UP TO MOVING DAY
Kids often have a very strong affinity to “their” stuff, they may not entirely make that clear to you, but its important that they will be taking their own bed and chair for example. And of course for toys and treasured possessions , we encourage parents to allow their kids to take ownership of packing them, and labeling the boxes. If you plan to get rid of some of your children’s things, they may actually be more concerned about what will happen to them, for example favorite toys going to a new home where they will be well taken care of by someone else.
On the day, try to keep to routines if you can, especially around bedtimes. Make setting up new beds, with bedding and toys they know, a priority after good food. Give them time for a story and a last reassuring talk. Let them know and hear that you are still close by.
Click Moves is an International Removal company, we offer affordable door to door services to and from all major cities worldwide. We are also parents, and most of us have moved home internationally more than once – so we know what we’re talking about when it comes to moving overseas. If you would like a quotation for moving, or some practical advice about moving home feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org