Top tips to move with children.

I was recently asked by my friend the lovely Doug Stitcher from Angel Applications (the man who created my wonderful Parenting Made Easy App)

“Will moving my 6 year to another town permanently damage her?”

Here are some ideas to help

1. Take a some time to  get really clear in your own mind about what you want to say to them to reassure them. Imagine where you’ll be – in the kitchen, in the sitting room, over a meal. Imagine what you want to see when you are telling them,  and hear before hand, what you want to say, pre plan any questions that may come up and have the answers and make sure you are upbeat, positive and excited by your body language and  tone of voice.

2. Tell your kids sooner rather than later. The earlier you tell your children they are moving the better but it is easy to assume that the later you tell them the less time they will have to worry. Children need time to get used to the idea of moving house so don’t put off telling them.

3. Be positive about your move. If you dread the move children will pick up on this and will also be anxious about it.

4. Talk to your children about their feelings about leaving their friends and talk about making new friends as well as keepimg old friends. talk about moves you’ve made in your llife and how you handled them, talk about ways to stay in touch with old friends – email, text, Skype – coming to stay in the holidays – depending on their age.

5. Try asking your child these 3 questions:

  • What is the best thing about your new school?
  • What will you miss most about your old school?
  • What is the scariest thing about your new
    school?

Talking through issues and concerns with your child builds their confidence and gives them support in coping with the practical and emotional worries they may be experiencing.

6. Spend a day in your new area, concentrating on the fun places to visit like new playgrounds, leisure centre, restaurants, local tourist attractions, cinema so your child has a positive impression of their new area.

7. Start decorating their room in their head, have fun mapping out where their new furniture will go and what theme they would like.

8. Let children pack some of their own boxes especially ones with soft toys and allow them to personalise them with coloured pens, stickers or even fun personalised sticky tape saying e.g. ‘SOPHIE’S STUFF’.

9. Create a moving scrapbook or keepsake book, and enjoy filling it with photos of their old house, garden, school, friends and include notes from friends, teachers anything that creates lasting happy memories for them.

10. Organise a  survival kit just for  your children and include not only essential like nappies, change of clothes, but also toys, comforters, blankets and favourite pyjamas and favourite books.

11.If you have to look after them on moving day explain to young children exactly what is happening and what to expect on moving day, as it will reassure them – get them involved too.

12. Plan your first night carefully: Make it really special for your child, have a pizza and ice cream and spend time with them rather than unpacking. Make sure their favourite books, toys and CDs are to hand so that you can settle them for the night.

13. Don’t be surprised if your child becomes more clingy after moving to a new house, this is all very natural. Stick as much as possible to your usual routine around bedtime and meals as this creates a sense of continuity and security. Try not to unpack all the boxes straight away but make it the main focus to unpack their boxes first, having their room sorted as soon as possible.

Change is ALL about how YOU handle it – if you look anxious, stressed and worried so will your kids.

How you handle change is a blueprint for how your children handle change throughout their lives.

So be patient, be positive and listen to their worries and reassure them and look forward to all the new exciting possibilities before you.