Moving house can be hugely exciting for the whole family, but a significant amount of upheaval is involved, which can be quite daunting for young people.
To assist with the transition, there are a number of hints and tips that can reduce stress for children and help them to settle in their brand new home.
It is important to remember that young people generally have a very small social circle and limited means of transport, so each friendship they make is a strong one. Taking them away from a street or neighbourhood with many familiar faces and relocating to a new one can therefore be a little daunting. Help to make this process as smooth as possible by speaking to their friends’ parents and asking if they can come and visit the new house, or vice-versa. Seeing familiar faces in an unfamiliar setting can be an effective way of helping them to accept their new surroundings.
If your children are of school age and have already bonded with teachers and classmates, you should endeavour to keep them at the same school, if logistics permit. Generally this is not a problem if your new home is only a couple of miles from the old one, but if you are moving quite far away a change of school will be required. Our guide on finding a new place to live contains advice on choosing a new school, including carefully researching league tables, performance, catchment areas and admissions criteria, which can ensure your son or daughter finds the most suitable school for their needs.
A child’s bedroom is the one area of the house that is irrevocably theirs, and therefore will be imbued with a significant amount of their personality. Moving house generally means that many familiar features of the room are left behind, so do all you can to ensure the new bedroom is as similar as possible. This means choosing a room that is a similar size, arranging the furniture in the same way, and even painting the walls a similar colour if there is the option to do so before moving day.
Moving day can be stressful for all parties involved, but preparation and planning can make the transition far easier. Applying this approach to your children can help to make your job far easier when it comes to moving day. Take as many opportunities as possible to allow your son or daughter to view the new property and familiarise themselves with it before moving day. On the day itself, prioritise moving their bed, furniture and belongings over anything else, ensuring it is the last thing that enters the removal van and is the first thing unloaded. Once everything is in place in their new room, they will have a familiar sanctuary to occupy while the hustle and bustle takes place elsewhere in the house.
Meeting new faces
Soon after moving, go for a walk around the new neighbourhood with your family and any pets you may have. You are bound to meet some new faces en route, providing a casual way for yourself, your children and your animals to get acquainted with your new neighbours. Our guide on introducing yourself to the neighbours includes advice on making a good impression, throwing a housewarming party and meeting like-minded people in your new area.
It is not only primary school children who can struggle to adapt after a move; teenagers can also be affected. Although a teen is likely to understand the reasons behind a move, that does not necessarily mean they are comfortable with them. Have frequent conversations with them about their new school, give them the freedom to make their mark on their new bedroom to personalise it, and try to be lenient when it comes to having new and old friends over to the house. Socialising can be the perfect remedy for homesickness and ensure the entire family can enjoy their brand new home.