One of the most stressful points in life is moving to a new home. It doesn’t matter whether you are moving from your parent’s house to college, from college to a place of your own and then in with a new partner, moving is stressful. You have to consider so many different things to be able to stay as organised as possible while coordinating the schedules of real estate agents, movers, the bank: you name them, you’re going to be the one organising them.
Buying a home is a long process. From comparing the mortgage calculator on every bank website to get the best deal for you, to finding the right home and discovering that it’s going to be a while before you can move in. The most stressful move? The one that you do after you’ve expanded your family. Children bring so much joy into our lives. Their very presence is enough to make your whole life feel complete – but my goodness if they’re not the hardest part of a house move! Trying to explain to them, no matter their age, the change that’s about to happen and what it will mean for them isn’t easy. Toddlers and babies are the easiest to transition to a new home, but they’re also the hardest to predict in terms of mood and actions when you actually get to moving day. Teenagers will likely be the ones who resist a move, especially if it means moving to a new school and making new friends again but will also be the easiest to coordinate on moving day. There’s really no winning combination here, but there are a few things that you can do to make it as smooth as you can. Being a parent isn’t easy, but being a parent on moving day could be easier with the tips that we have for you below:
Get Them Involved. When we are talking about a baby, the most involved that they could be is to stay asleep on you or nearby while you coordinate the movers and the removals. For older children, they will need a level of preparation. You should aim to start discussing the house move with them at least a month or two before you start looking for properties. They could come with you to viewings if you get them excited enough. This way, they can see the places that they could be living and the new area that they could be living in. It allows them time to think about the process ahead and think through it. They can also see any attractions like parks and pools in the local area, so that they can imagine the fun that they could have in the new area.
Relinquish Control. You’re a control freak. You know it, I know it, your family knows it. When it comes to life, probably not, but when it comes to moving to a new house? You have that military precision that makes things run smoothly. So, when you think about giving the kids a little control over the move, watch out for coming out in hives. Don’t worry, I’m just kidding. Giving the kids an element of control in this change in their lives is going to make a huge difference to their experience. When you are buying a new home, you get the chance to give them the opportunity to splash their personality over their new bedroom. Let them help you with the décor and paint colours if they are old enough to have an input. Stick to colours rather than themes, though, as it will be so much easier to change a colour than strip back and sort out a theme every time they get a new favourite character!
Avoid Mid-Semester Moves. School is a constant in the lives of your children, and if you want to move to a new area and start them at a new school, avoid moving to a new house in the middle of the semester. You need to make this transition a smooth one, so moving away AFTER the semester or school year has ended will not only give them a few weeks to settle into the new area, it allows them to be ready to settle into a new school with a fresh year. Not many children enjoy being the ‘new kid’ on the block, but time and conversation can help them to move smoothly and with a lot less anguish.
Play Happy. Sure, a move is stressful on you as a parent, but it’s going to be less stressful all round if your kids don’t know about it! If they see you worried, stressed or panicking, they’re going to start worrying about that and feeling stressed. You need the kids to feel as relaxed as possible so that they can move to a new home without worrying that it will all fall through. There’s a lot of build-up involved in buying a new house, and that’s not just for you, either. The move itself should be a huge adventure for all of you, and the more that you make it so, the happier all of you will be. Kids will always look up to you to see what their own emotions and feelings should be. They’ll want to make sure you are okay, but that’s not really their job, is it? They’re your children and you need to play at being happy, even if you’re not feeling it right now.
Children don’t often have a say in the big decisions in their lives, so the only thing that you can really do is make the whole process as bump-free as possible. You are the constant that your children have in their lives, and you need to be the person that they look to for their happiness and excitement. Make the move a smooth one, and you’ll all be settling in and headed to school with smiles on your faces. It’ll happen; don’t worry!