Can moving house have negative effects on children? Yes, and from a young age
Young children may have a hard time adjusting to a move. Young children are at an age where they are starting to become familiar with everything around them, such as people, places and systems. Moving home changes all of these things, which can make it difficult for them. Sensitive children are especially suceptible to having a hard time with a move. If your child has social difficulties, this can also make it a lot more difficult, as they are thrown into a foreign social enviroment.
When to inform the child about the moving? Not too early for the younger child, and not too late for the older child
The best time to tell your child about the move will depend largely on their age. Very young children have yet to fully develop a perspective of time, so it is fine to leave it until the last few weeks. Older children on the other hand will need more time to prepare themselves emotionally for the transition. Giving them a few months will allow them to say goodbye to friends and come to terms with the move. Older children are also capable of helping with small tasks such as packing.
How to talk to the child about the transition? openly and with empathy
If your child is young, when telling them about the move you will want to try to sell them on the idea. Small children may not understand some of the things that we think to be obvious, which can cause some distressing misunderstandings. Because of this, it is recommended that you give a full explanation of what a move entails and answer any questions they may have, no matter how silly they may sound.
If your child is older, it is better to try to explain it in a more pragmatic sense; talk to them about why you have decided to move and what the advantages are. You may also want to discuss the challenges that it may bring in order to help to prepare them.
What should you pay attention to on the day of moving? Do not leave an empty house and do not enter an empty house
On the day of the move, it is recommended that you get someone to look after your child, even if only for part of the day. Grandparents, neighbours or friends are the perfect people to ask to do this. This has several advantages. The most obvious advantage is that it will allow you, the parents, the time and space that you need in order to get everything done. There is also the fact that you are likely to get tired and stressed on the day of the move. By having your child elsewhere, you can avoid them seeing you in that state and forming a negative association with the moving process.
It is recommended that you do not show the child the old home after it is emptied, or the new home before there is something in it. This can also create a negative perception of the experience for some children. Having someone take care of your child allows you to do this a lot more easily.
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