Before you had children, moving house was much more straightforward. You only have yourself to think about, or perhaps it was you and a partner, but you could easily discuss what you wanted to happen and make the decision to move somewhere else.
When you have children, this automatically becomes a lot harder. This is especially true if the house you’re currently living in is the only home they’ve ever known. Leaving friends and family neighbourhoods behind can be traumatic, and when it wasn’t the child’s idea, it can feel even worse.
Yet sometimes a move has to happen for all kinds of reasons, whether you have children or not. If you do, here are some useful tips to make the move easier on everyone, no matter how far away your new house is.
It might feel easier to hide what’s going on from your children until there is no turning back, but this plan can backfire and make things even worse. The best thing you can do is to be honest from the start and explain your reasons for wanting to look for a new place to live.
Moving home is nerve-wracking for everyone, so you should let your children know how you honestly feel too, and encourage them to open up to you about their feelings. Perhaps they’re scared because they don’t want to go to a new school or find a new park to play in. These are valid reasons and should be talked about with honest answers given. Preparing them for this big change is best.
Revisit And Keep Contact
A child can feel as though everything they know is suddenly being taken away from them during a move, so it’s important to tackle this issue. If you’re not moving far, you can let them know you will revisit where you are now until they are more used to the new place. Perhaps you’re only moving a few streets away; if so, assure them that only the house and neighbours are changing, but everything else is staying the same.
If you’re moving a little further away, then make plans to keep in contact with their friends. A new school can be daunting, but if they have their old friends at the end of a phone or on a video call when they need them, they’ll feel much better.
Take It Slowly
Rushing when it comes closer to the time to move is stressful for everyone, and children will feel this keenly. It’s best for everyone if you can take your time. Pack bit by bit, one room at a time, over the space of a few weeks, and it will not only be easier to manage, but it will be easier for your children to deal with too, and it will give them more chance to get used to what’s happening.
You can start to pack even before your conveyancing solicitors give you an exchange or completion date – if you know you’re going to move, you may as well get started as soon as you can.