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moving house - how to tell young children? Experiences, please!(14 Posts)
We are moving from central London to Berkshire at the end of the year.
We have three small children: 4, 2 and 6 months.
Any top tip on how to tell them? Any do's and don'ts for telling them we are moving (haven't told them yet and was planning on about a month before as think that 5 months is too long for them to process the info).
When we moved we spoke of the new adventure our family was going on to the new house. The kids caught the excitement very quickly which eased their sadness about leaving. Also gave them some control by showing them which bedrooms would be theirs (which was argued over and had to be taking turns, arghh!) We allowed them to decide definite favourite toys/possessions to take and stuff to throw away. Teddies and fav toys were not packed in boxes, but came with them in the car trip to new home.
Best wishes for the move. Kids adjust so quickly, took me longer to get used to the move than them!
We moved to the opposite end of the country when I was 9. My mother announced it at a PTA meeting before she told us, and the next day kids in school were asking me when I was moving, and I didn't know I was yet. My advice - don't do that! I was GUTTED!
Your children are still so little, they probably won't worry about it. It's not as though they've settled into a group of friends at school yet. I'd let them know the fortnight before at most.
We are now in the 5th new place (and 3rd new country...) with DD's 6 and 4. We are planning to slow down on the moving around though!
I don't think you need to worry much with children as young as yours. With ours the main thing has been reassuring that we bring all our stuff (including the TV :-)).
Friends of ours with slightly older children reported that a complete meltdown over the news of an imminent move was easily repaired by a trip to the toy shop to pick out a new item for the new house/room...
Good luck with the move!
DD1 is almost 3. We are very enthusiastic when talking about the new place. We let her choose the colour for her new room (with some guidance!), taking her where her toys will go, letting her help her pack her toys, etc. We move in a weeks time, so will see how that goes!
Good luck with your move!
Can you take them to view the new house? Ours were able to come to the viewings; DS1 (4) coped with us moving house the day he started school, so he left from one house and came 'home' to another. We stayed in the same town which helped.
it's a great question of how to smooth the move, I write articles helping people on the move and I think that's a great idea! Any tips would be great.
Has anyone dealt with children who are really against moving home (and school)??i explained it honestly and am involving them in decision making etc but our 6 year old girl and 4 year old boy are both utterly horrified at the prospect of moving.. People just keep telling me they will adjust.. I'm sure they will! - but over what period of time?
Thank you x
I've spoken to DS about moving, he says that our house is part of him and would never want to move. We've been here since he was a few months old.
I think that I'd find some friends that have moved house - perhaps take them to your childhood home. Explain that your family is still sticking together. I'd try to get school to let your children have the Biff & Chip books where they move house and find that amazing secret room.
We moved when I was 9 and my house now where I've been for 7 years is the only place that I've ever felt was "home" again since as mum did not cope with life very well after we moved as her marriage ended, so I think it depends a lot on your attitude too.
Letting the children paint/choose bedrooms etc can all help too
Also give them time to settle down in the new place my 2 yo was really thrown by the new house and her new room - even though it had all her stuff in it and she was still in her crib etc. She went from being a great sleeper to needing me to get to sleep (I spent almost two months on a mattress in her room every night) - gradually it got better and she felt settled again, we did gradual retreat until I was in the room much less and then she went back to sleeping though without me (thank god!).
It must be very unsettling to have your home change overnight and she was a bit too young to 'explain' things too, she needed time to adjust.
We moved about 2hrs drive away but near parents so that helped as the town was familiar.
what helped us was:
topsy and tim moved house!
we had new duvet cover and wall stickers that can make a room very child friendly straight away
reassurance that all the 'things' (furniture etc) will be the same
and what helped the most was not staying the night of the move when things are very hectic and feel unsettled. We saw the van with the stuff in it then the ds stayed with my parents while we unpacked then they had the next day to settle and be used to the house all day before bed. This really helped as normally by the time you've unpacked and made a bed and cot its past bedtime and they are tired and grumpy! We then put new stickers, duvet up, old bed and furniture so it seemed like home
i know not everyone can do that but it did help
Mine are similar ages too
and don't forget the wine and/or kettle in the car ready for you at the end of the day
We just moved country with 2 2.5 year olds. We started talking about it when they were interested in aeroplanes - "you'll be going on an aeroplane when you're older" (i.e. in 2 months) - and just answered the questions that arose. I made the mistake of showing them pictures of the new house and they were like "go to the new house now?" "No sorry love, it's too far away." "Oh. Go on the bus?"
We have moved 3 times since DS was born: 9 months, 3 years 10 months and 4 years 2 months.
First time he wasn't aware. Second and third time, he saw where we were moving too and he always saw the positives (big garden, room for trampoline etc). He was always happy with the move and we made very smooth transitions. However all moves were within the same city: so his friends, parks, activities, and (last two moves) preschool stayed the same.
My tip is making things easy for them. We stayed in a hotel (actually the same one) each time we moved. Had a packing and unpacking service as part of the move. So on day 1 we would get up in the house we were leaving and he would go to preschool, the packers would move in and start packing up the house, I would take a suitcase to the hotel. That night we would go to the hotel. Following day the movers moved everything. Again, DS went to preschool and then I/DH took him back to the hotel and we spent another night at the hotel. Following day was a Saturday, much of the house had been unpacked, but I got everything all ready and cosy, whilst DH checked out of the hotel and took DS somewhere fun for the day. Then DH brought DS to the new home: everything (at least the living rooms, playroom, toys, his bedroom and our bedroom and bathroom) was ready for him. So, in DS's experience, he left the old house, spent a couple of nights in a hotel (whilst continuing with his normal life and activities), had a lovely day out, then came to his lovely new home (which he had seen before, but now with all his familiar things in). No upset at all: one very happy child.
You could always stay at friends or family rather than a hotel.
Apart from a few questions like "where are the toys?" (previous tenants had a baby and DS saw the baby's toys when we visited) and "but where is the piano?" (previous owners had a grand piano). And asking about going back to the old house (I explained we couldn't because a new family lived there now - with their own bed and toys etc). But he has always wanted to stay living at our newest house and not go and live at the previous house again.
We will not be moving again...
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