4 tips for helping your children when moving to a new home
When moving to a new home, it is your priority to try to make sure your children have the smoothest transition to their new home as possible. This can certainly be challenging, especially if they have grown up only knowing one previous home. In this article we will be sharing tips to help your children embrace their new home and adjust to the new surroundings, including advice on how to help them cope with current COVID-19 restrictions.
1. Go Outside
The great outdoors will act as a welcome breath of fresh air (metaphorically and literally) in the midst of adjusting to your new home. Going outside for exercise has been found to have several mental health benefits, helping to reduce rates of anxiety, stress and depression among many people (Harvard Health, 2019), which cannot be underestimated when moving for both parents and children, especially during COVID-19. An August 2020 study found that 38% of respondents have had increased anxiety since the COVID-19 outbreak, with 28% reporting that they felt lonelier (Mintel, 2020).
Going outside with your children can help this. It will help clear your mind and act as a healthy form of escapism from your home, especially when considering how COVID-19 has kept us shackled to our homes recently. Going on a walk around a new area is also a great way to help familiarise you and your children with the local surroundings, as well as an opportunity to spend time with new neighbours or friends during COVID-19, because being in a public space adheres to government guidelines. You may even find fun local attractions, or a park which is great for your kids to play in.
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2. Finish The Room They Care About Most First
Moving is going to be stressful at first for everyone involved, but for children to move to an unknown location into an unknown house, it can be overwhelming. To help this, make sure you prioritise finishing the rooms which will make them feel most at home. This can include unboxing, painting, sorting their wardrobe and toys, anything to make them feel as comfortable as possible. A good idea would be to let them have a hand in the décor if they are old enough – for example, a toddler may not be the most helpful interior designer! This is beneficial because they will know where everything they need is, as well as making the transition more fun and personal.
3. Extracurricular Activities
Making friends will be a very important factor in how your children settle in when moving to a new home. As a parent, you can help aid them find new friends by encouraging them to do extracurricular activities outside of school, including sports, dance, music… the list goes on. The activity can build on an existing passion to find likeminded people, or it can be a new activity to discover new hobbies.
At the time of writing, COVID-19 has certainly made it more challenging to interact with new people, but it has not made it impossible, so you must remain optimistic. Schools are doing all they can to help students deal with the pandemic, and several sports such as tennis, cricket and netball can be played in safe coronavirus conditions. Moreover, many recreational classes are being held online, such as dance or karate lessons. Safety is of course the number one priority as a parent, so always make sure both you and your child are happy to interact with others when restrictions are in place, as well as ensuring all parties are always adhering to government guidelines.
4. Give It Time
Possibly the most important tip I can impart is to simply give it time. Emotions will be flying high at first, so it is crucial to allow your children to voice these emotions and concerns they may have in order to process them, rather than having them bury them to fester into an outburst at a later date. Supportive comments will be key here, because you need to show empathy and let them know that they are not alone in this.
This being said, a sudden outburst of “I want to go back home” is almost inevitable, but you must do your best diffuse the situation, show that you care and remain calm. After all, as the parent you are who they look up to, so if you are calm and positive it will help them to emulate the same attitude.
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