Australian’s are Highly Mobile
Research has shown that the Australian population is amongst the most mobile in the world, with particularly high rates of moving for children aged between 1 to 4 years (Jelleyman and Spencer in 2008).
This was backed up by a study done by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2011. This study found that almost 50% of young Australians (aged up to 5 years) within the study sample had moved house at least once. By the time that children are 8 or 9 years old 75% of then had moved at least once.
Thus it appears that moving with children is very common in Australia.
Moving can be Traumatic for Children
Research too has shown that for a child a move can be a very traumatic event. Research conducted in America found that even for a move within the same local area for children this can involve sadness, emotional upheaval and apprehension. Some child psychologists have equated the upheaval level that children experienced by moving to that of dealing with divorce or death.
A study conducted in 2010 by the University of Virginia found:”…children who move frequently are more likely to perform poorly in school and have more behaviour problems.”
How you can Help your Child when Moving Home
Thus moving home with your children needs to be handled with care and compassion. If handled properly you can significantly reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that you child would experience from a household move.
It is important that you are aware of the concerns that your child or children has regarding your planned move. You need to be supportive and understanding of their fears and feelings. You can take simple preventative measures during and after a relocation which will greatly assist your child.
Amongst many articles written about this subject there appear to be four main things that you can do to assist your child in reducing their stress regarding moving.
The first is to talk to your child about the move, the second is to familiarise them with the new house and locality before the move, the third is to include them in the move and the fourth is to pack them up a special box to take with them.
Honest Open Discussion with your Child
In general, children like routine and do not like unexpected changes. Thus early on before the move you should talk to your child or children regarding the planned move, so they can adapt better.
You need to make sure that you provide them with honest answers and as much information about the move as you can. You need to listen to their concerns and do your best to alleviate them. Some of the concerns that they may have include saying goodbye to favourite play areas, friends and neighbours. If they are moving schools this will be a big concern for them. They will also be worried about finding new friends.
Familiarise them early on with their new Home and Locality
If possible you should show your children their new home prior to moving day. By knowing where they will be living their anxiety will be much reduced. It would be wonderful if they could see their new bedroom before the move so that they can plan (with you) how they will locate their furniture and possessions and decorate the room.
Try to excite your child(ren) regarding the move rather than worry about it.
It is also a good idea to take them around the new neighbourhood that they will be living in. Show them and let them explore the local parks, shops, sporting facilities and other attractions.
Walk around the block where you will be living so that the children become familiar with the area and the street within which they will be moving to.
If it is not possibly to physically visit the new destination, then if you can show them on the internet the house, floor plan and locality. You can even use Google Maps to ‘walk down the street’ etc.
Include your Children in the Move
We recommend that the children be assigned tasks relating to the move such as helping with packing of non-breakable items. By including them they will feel part of the move and find the whole idea less stressful.
Giving them tasks to do will also make them feel important, further reducing the anxiety and worry that moving for children involves.
Depending on the age of your child he/she could be responsible for labelling the boxes – under your supervision. You could also sit down with your children and get them to help you with the planning for the move, what needs to be done and when etc.
Pack a Special Moving Day Box with your Children
Just before you move ask each child to pack their own special box that induces their most treasures possessions. This box too should include the things that they will need as soon as they arrive at their new home.
For younger children this may include their doona or ‘blankie’, their pillow, toys and teddy bears. For older children it may be their iPad or laptop.
Other items may be the essentials such as their water bottle, toothbrush and paste, hairbrush and a snack. This box is not only practical but will also help the children feel at home more quickly.
Moving with Children – How we can Help – Quick and Easy Removals Sydney
Many parents moving with children do not realize the amount of angst this causes their kids.
The first way that we help parents moving with children to advise them before hand about the issue and let them know how they can help their children to reduce the anxiety that children feel about moving house.
On a practical level we will suggest that the child’s (or children’s’) furniture and possessions are loaded last onto the removal van. This means that the items belonging to the children will be the first goods unloaded.
If we are unpacking for you then we will ensure that the children’s furniture (beds, desks etc) are assembled first and their possessions unpacked as soon as possible.
The idea is that when the children arrive at their new home, their room and belongings are ready for them, effectively allowing them to settle in much easier and reducing the amount of stress that they experience.
There are a couple of different ways that you can contact us. Our phone number is (02) 8880 5124 and your call will be answered by one of our friendly and well-informed staff. You can also use our Contact Us Form on our website and you can expect a very promptly reply.
Quick and Easy Removals Sydney – We know how moving with children can be stressful for the whole family and will do everything that we can to reduce this stress.