It's always an interesting mix of emotions whenever you move to a new home. There's the exciting thrill of creating new memories, the bittersweet sadness of leaving somewhere dear to your heart and the stress of getting everything packed and sent off.
So, it's important to spare a thought for your children through it all. Your kids are going through all of the same emotional rollercoasters as you are - the sadness, the excitement, the anxiety - only for them, there's the added confusion of not being in control of everything, like you are.
Children of all ages feel uprooted and vulnerable whenever they move house - here's some handy ways to make the process as smooth as possible:
Understand how they are feeling
Your first step, and the most important step, is to try to understand and empathise with how your child is feeling about the whole thing. Take a few moments out of your day to sit down with them and ask about how they are. If they are sad about leaving, find out why. If they're anxious about the move, reassure them. If they're angry at you for wanting to move on, don't get angry and try to understand their reasons. If they are excited to go, encourage and share in their enthusiasm.
Always make time for them
In the hustle and bustle of organising transport and movers, it can be easy overlook your duties towards your children. Whether they're toddlers or teenagers, there's nothing worse in a time of stress and change for a child than feeling ignored by a parent. Always take a time out from organising to engage with your kids; enjoy play time together, do some arts and crafts together or cook something together. Take them on days out - check out our inspiration section on family days. Crucially, always make yourself available to talk whenever they need to.
Encourage them to keep up with old friends
One of the biggest things your children will miss after the move will be their old friends. This affects kids of all ages, whether they talk about it or not. Encourage them to stay in touch with these friends so that moving away doesn't feel so daunting. This is easier than ever thanks to social media and email, but it can also take a variety of other forms, like inviting those friends over to stay or calling them up. A letter is also a nice idea, since the recipient can keep it as something to be treasured.
Try to get them involved in new clubs and social activities
A major worry for children who are moving to a new home in a new city or town is that they may not make friends when they arrive. To help alleviate this anxiety, research some activity-based meetups or clubs they can get involved with. Ideally, connect it to their interests: sports clubs, drama clubs, art clubs, scouts groups and girl guide groups can all be great ways for your kids to make friends with shared interests. This is a particularly good idea if you move outside of school term time because it allows them to make friends who may be in the same school as them.
Help them to adjust to a new school
Speaking of schools, your children may well be worried about starting at a new school. This is totally understandable, given that school pupils tend to grow up together, forming strong bonds and relationships over the course of their schooling lives, and this can leave newcomers feeling isolated. Talk to the new school before your child starts and keep in touch with them throughout term time to check how your child is getting on. It can be a good idea to take them in on a non-school day if you can, to meet their teachers and give them a chance to see the school itself before they start.
Make them feel a part of the move
Your new home isn't just your new home, it's your child's too. A great way to build their excitement of a living somewhere new is to get them involved in the move - you can do this by involving them in the decision process, letting them have some input in wallpaper choices, furniture options and more. Ask them to help carry out small tasks that make them feel valued, like carrying things and making cups of tea for the moving crews. All of this contributes to making them feel like they have their own part to play in creating your new home. Thinking of making the big move with your children? We've got a host of properties across the UK which are perfect for families of all sizes and ages. Find your dream property today at Berkeleygroup.co.uk.