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How do you prepare children for moving house?

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
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Piano removal in Christchurch New Zealand 2011. Photo: http://furnitureremovalchristchurch.co.nz/

Moving house is stressful and disruptive for anybody, and it's a particularly confusing time for children. They might have to move to a new school, leaving their friends behind, or if they're really young they may be leaving the only home they remember. What can parents or friends do to make the transition easier for kids?

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Lots of talking to them about the excitement of the move focusing on the positives. In advance, if you're able to, take them to see their new house. Show them their new room and where all their toys will go. If their room needs a coat of paint you could give them the special job of choosing their new wall colour. Keeping them involved is key to helping them understand the changes happening around them. Finally, let them know when the move is coming so its not just sprung on them. Three more sleeps till we move, two more sleeps till we move. On the day of the move its handy to arrange someone to have the kids for an hour or so whilst some serious unpacking takes place. It's an idea to get the kids beds and bedding unpacked first so they've got somewhere safe and familiar to sleep in.
Great question, and an interesting one. Give them advance notice. Help them pack their toys. Explain the benefits of moving house. Bigger space works. Nothing else comes to mind right now.
Thanks. Those are good suggestions. I am going to have to do this myself soon as we are moving and my eldest is a bit anxious about it.
Show them pictures of your new house and perhaps take them with you before you move. If you talk excitedly about your new residence, they will become excited too.
I'm promising my grandaughter a keyboard to take to her new home. Currently she and her brother enjoy playing it when sleeping over at my house, so I thought this might be an added attraction to moving house. I checked it out with her Dad first as to whether there would be room to accommodate it. We talk quite openly about the move and the positives of going to a new town. She has already had experience of its excellent art gallery activities for kids. Talk frequently about the positives when an appropriate situation arises..
Make it a great adventure!
Children love anything like that, and in the end they become very excited.

As far as a new school, well that is a hard one....and it is not advised to do it too often.That must be a gentle transition, with a great deal of up-beat talk.
Children do bounce back quickly, but a lot of time and care needs to be focused on them, not just the move.They need to be loved-into-that-new-home.

If it means going to the new area, showing them all the new things around, or just a new park there.Maybe even a new cake shop...buy a treat.
Slowly easing them into that move....Quick moves, can shock a child,and they just have not had the time and effort to make that change, in their minds.

Also talk about 'how' their new bedroom can be made as they would like it, and that will spark up some conversation...believe me. :)
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