Moving house? We just did 🎉
While we’re still settling into our new home, there was some information & a few tips I garnered from the research that I wanted to share. This really helped us prepare our bub for the move and eased things for both us & our little one in the transition.
Relocation can be difficult for young children. This is in part, because they often have little control over the situation or may not fully understand what the move means. Children may be dealing with the loss of their previous home, social network, as well as adjusting to a new school or day-care environment.
Communication is key. Involving kids in the planning as much as possible helps them feel like participants in the process. Research shows that younger children generally have an easier time with moving, as they establish new friendships more easily and settle more quickly than adolescents.
The biggest predictors of difficulty settling in include the number of times a child moves, how frequent those moves are and perhaps most importantly - parents’ attitude. Parents positive outlook was one of the best indicators at children’s adjustment post-move.
Children younger than 5 appear to have the easiest time moving house, partially as they have limited understanding of the changes involved. However, the ‘sudden’ shift can still be confronting and there are things that can be done to help minimise the impact.
🏡 Ways to ease the transition for young children:
🔅Keep explanations clear & simple
🔅Use stories to explain the move, act it out with toy trucks & furniture
🔅If your new home is nearby & vacant, visit before the move & take a few toys over each time
🔅If possible, set up your child’s bedroom furniture in the same way
🔅Prioritise the setting up of their room before other rooms in the house
🔅Avoid making other big changes during the move, like toilet training or moving a toddler from a cot to a bed
🔅Arrange for your toddler/pre-schooler to stay with a babysitter as they may find the chaos of moving day overwhelming
References: McLeod 2006; Pollari & Bullock 1988; Pendley 2014; South & Haynie, 2004