Moving to a new house isn’t easy for anybody, but the children in a family often have the hardest time of it. Children rarely handle large changes very well, so moving to a new house, possibly in a new city, can be frightening and confusing for them. The last thing we want is children feeling unsafe in their own homes. We’ve got a few tips for acclimating children to a new house so that the transition period isn’t as difficult for parents or children.
Ensure the Home Is Safe
The first thing you need to do is something that concerns you as the parent more than the child themselves. You just moved into a new house, so you need to make sure that the place is safe for children to live in. What this means is blocking off areas that you don’t want your children in, cushioning hard or sharp surfaces, and generally making the house a safe place for a child to roam. You also want to consider other home hazards as well, such as the possibility of radon exposure, that you might want to mitigate with alarms and the like.
Allow Them Some Control
A useful tip for acclimating children to a new house is to give them some control of what the new house will look like. This obviously works well in their own room where they will spend a lot of their time, but you should also let them exact a little of their will on the rest of the house. This will help them feel like the new home has more of them in it, rather than feeling like they’re in a strange new house that you simply set up for them.
Honor Their Feelings
Children will have a lot of different feelings about moving to a new home. They may have some excitement and interest, but many of those feelings will be negative as well. You don’t want to invalidate your child’s feelings by simply forcing them to deal with the move on their own. Speak to them about how they feel so you can get a better idea about their worries. By allowing them to feel what they want to feel, you give them time to come to terms with the move on their own and with your help.
Start Having Fun as Soon as Possible
Once you’ve moved in, it’s time to start making the house feel like a home. There’s no better way to do that than by making new memories in the home that your child can latch onto. Order your favorite food, play their favorite games, and spend a lot of time with your kids. Being there for them and trying to make the move a fun thing will prevent the worst feelings from clouding the good ones.