8 Tips to Prepare Your Children for a Removal
If moving home takes its toll on adults, consider how your little ones must be feeling at this sudden change of scenery. Moving home with children is even more of a challenge if you are choosing to settle down overseas, as the cultural changes and language barriers can be a cause of stress for young children. To help you overcome these challenges, we’ve put together some useful tips to soothe stress for all the family, allowing your children to enjoy their new home with a more positive attitude!
Tell them early: Children take longer to adapt to change than adults. Give them plenty of notice about the impending move, offering support and guidance along the way. Reassure them that it’s okay to be sad, and take time to listen to any worries or questions they may have. Above all, allow the adjustment period to be as lengthy as your family needs by telling your children as early as possible.
Involve them in decisions: Even if you’ve made the final decision to move, still strive to make your child feel like their opinion is valued. Kids like to feel important, and it will help make the transition easier for them, knowing they’re not being ignored. You could even involve them in redecorating choices; though just be careful how much freedom you give them, or you could end up with a Spiderman kitchen and a Peppa Pig bathroom!
Help them visualise their new home: Perhaps show them pictures of the new house, or photos of the location or country you’re moving to. Get your little one to think about how they want to decorate their room, and help them settle on some ideas. Encourage them to research their new area and investigate fun places nearby, or if possible, arrange a family day trip to the new location. By focusing on the positive aspects of the move, this will distract your children from dwelling on the negatives.
Create a schedule: For some children, the unknown only heightens feelings of unease. To pacify their anxiety, consider drawing up a Moving Schedule, or timeline, which informs your kids of key dates and tasks. Maybe get them involved in creating by having them provide illustrations.
Make clearing out fun: To make your journey smoother sailing, it’s best to have a clearout of your property to make the move easier, less complex and much cheaper. This purge should also extend to your child’s bedroom, which may prove to be a challenge, as children can easily become attached to toys and games that have seen better days. Perhaps give them a certain number of boxes to fill, and allow them to personalise their ‘My stuff’ boxes. Or make a game out of the process by creating rules e.g. for two items they keep, they need to choose one to discard, and grant rewards if they manage to fill their discard box.
A fond farewell: Without a doubt, the most difficult part of moving for adults and children alike, is saying goodbye to friends. Ask your youngster if they have any goodbye ideas, whether it be a party or arranging a special day out with their close friends, or even making a scrapbook of memories. If your child wants to keep in contact with their friends, make sure they have the means to do so, whether by letters, emails, phone calls, video chats, or by regular visits, if it’s feasible.
Unpack quickly: The sooner your kids are surrounded by familiar items, the less uneasy they’ll be. Prioritise unpacking your children’s belongings upon arrival at the new house, as this will help soothe initial anxiety; as will re-establishing the usual routine as soon as possible.
Harmonise them with their new home: As a parent, your biggest concern will be making sure your child forms new friendships. To assist with this process, consider introducing yourself to the neighbours, especially if they also have young children. Perhaps scout out some local kids clubs they could join. If there’s a language barrier, try and get your child up to speed with their new lingo well in advance of moving so they are not disadvantaged in their new school.
Whether you’re relocating across the globe or moving down the road, Britannia Sandersteads are on hand to help. We aim to make the process as easy as possible, offering advice and reassurance along the way. With over 40 years’ experience in international removals, we’ve helped hundreds of families and businesses move both locally and internationally to locations as far afield as South Africa, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Get in touch today to discuss your upcoming move – we serve customers across London, Croydon, Surrey, Kingston upon Thames & Epsom.