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Tips for parents: How to help your children cope with moving house

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When you move home as a parent, there is a lot more to deal with than just figuring out how to get your furniture into the new house. You have to help your children, who may not be old enough to fully understand nor cope with the new environment. Especially if you are moving far from your previous home, this can be challenging. Here are some tips to help it go as smoothly as possible and get them settled in sooner rather than later.


Prepare them a month ahead

The ideal time to let your kids know what is going on is about a month before the move. It might be that you can’t control the timing, especially if a buyer falls through at the last minute. However, if you can, this is how to do it. During this month they can begin to process the information, but might not start to really worry about the new place yet. When telling them about the move, be sure to emphasise what will stay the same. You will all be together as a family, and their toys and furniture will come along with you. You can also tour your new neighbourhood, if possible, and point out everything it has that is just like the old one – play areas, toy shops, and so on.

Focus on them

During the move, make sure to focus on the kids as much as possible. Don’t try to do everything yourself – there is too much stress involved, and you can end up shouting at each other as well as losing patience with tantrums. Use a service like PACK & SEND to get all of your belongings sent to the new home – ahead of time, if possible. Decide on some key toys and games to bring in the car with you. The favourite teddy your child has to sleep with every night is a definite must for comfort. Be positive during the move. If you’re stressed and upset about leaving your home, the kids will pick up on that. Even if you don’t feel it yourself, try to be upbeat and cheerful about the new place where you are going. They will follow your lead in most cases. Even if they get upset, reassure them that everything is going to be even better after the move.

Get active immediately

Help them to settle in to their new place by offering so many new activities and people they don’t have time to miss the old ones. Take them to visit the nearest playground as you settle in, and be sure to meet the neighbours as well as any children they may have. It’s a good idea to sign up for local activity groups too, both for you and your child. Find out what they would be interested in doing, or find something that you think they will enjoy. This is not only great for the kids, but also for you, as you can make friends in your new community. Rather than keeping everything exactly the same, you can also get kids involved in decisions about their new rooms. Would they like new wallpaper? How about new furniture or rugs on the floor? Giving them the chance to make some decisions may make them feel more comfortable about the move. Being powerless is something that a lot of children may feel rage or sadness over, so giving them this power back really helps to smooth the transition period.


All kids are different, so try to be sensitive. Don’t be surprised if you have a difficult couple of months – they may even backslide in their development – before things go back to normal.

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