Taking the stress out of moving to a new area
Moving to a new area can be stressful for parents and children, but it's possible to make the transition a little easier.
Moving to a new area can be daunting for children, especially when it means leaving friends and established routines behind.
Experts recommend discussing the move sooner rather than later so children have plenty of time to get used to the idea, ask questions and discuss any concerns they may have. Explaining the reasons for the move will also help children understand why it is taking place. Highlighting the positive aspects of moving, such as being closer to family members, a larger house, and new places to visit, for example, can help children to view the move as an adventure rather than an upheaval.
Children will quickly pick up on any anxieties parents have so remaining positive is important. Taking time to say goodbye to friends, and discussing ways they could stay in touch, will ease the transition. Children may also enjoy making a scrapbook of their old house and area to refer back to.
Visiting the new area prior to the move can help children familiarise themselves with their new home and local facilities such as parks and cinemas. Allowing them to choose bedrooms and think about where they want to put their things can add to the excitement.
Some children may be keen to get involved with local groups such as Cubs and Beavers, and take an active part in after-school activities following the move as a way of making friends. However, others may find this overwhelming and a more cautious approach may be needed.
Emily Vest, who blogs at PantsWithNames, recently moved back to the UK with her family after spending two years living in Bosnia. Emily stresses the importance of trusting your instincts and watching your child to see how they respond to their new circumstances.
Emily says, “We took a very deliberate decision not to throw them in at the deep end, so no extra curricula classes. I figured the boys were going to be a bit overwhelmed by school and playgroup as it was. So instead I made a real effort to make friends with the other mums at the school gate and worked out where people went to hang out after school. Then I'd take the boys there and they could play with their classmates if they wanted to, or not if they didn't fancy it.
“I think the key is to watch your child and see how they are responding and to provide them with plenty of opportunity to play with school mates out of school time, but without overwhelming them. Trust your instincts.”
The new ReadyforTen Skillscape initiative is a great way of discovering parks, pitches and playgrounds available across the UK. It is ideal for anyone unfamiliar with an area they are visiting or relocating to.
Have you moved to a new area with your family? Do you have any tips for making the transition easier?
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