select
|

Helping children cope during the move

Purchasing a new home is an exciting venture, however moving and adapting to a new environment can be stressful – particularly for children, says father of two, Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“Moving can be stressful for adults who fully understand the process. So once you factor in the confusion and anxiety that children feel when leaving a familiar space and going to a completely new setting, a move can be a traumatic experience for children,” says Goslett. “To relieve some of the anxiety and help children to cope with the move, there are things that parents can do to make the transition far less taxing.” 

Here are a few pointers for parents to consider when moving homes:

Communicate

It normally takes children slightly longer to adapt to change, so it is important to talk to them about the move and prepare them well in advance. Knowing about the move long before it happens, will help the children to prepare mentally and emotionally.

“It is vital that age-appropriate language is used to explain to the children why the family is moving,” says Goslett. “Based on the child’s age and level of understanding, each parent will know how best to tell their child the reason for the move. While an older child may understand the concept of better career opportunities, a younger child might find the idea of moving to a larger home with more room to play a more compelling explanation.  

Once a child understands the reasoning behind the move, they will be far more ready to absorb the reality of the move.”

Involve the children in the decisions


There are many decisions to be made during a move. Where possible, try to involve the children in the decision-making process so that they feel a part of what is going on. For example, if the family is looking for a new home together, ask the children for their opinion and what they liked and didn’t like about each house.  Alternatively, ask the children where they would like to place their bed or toys in their new room or have them choose a new colour to paint the walls.

Research and books

Older children can use the internet to research the area and surrounding attractions to get them excited about the move. For younger children, visit the local library and what books they have about packing, moving and getting used to a new house.
 
A new home might mean that you want to buy new furniture or change the décor. However, children will find it easier to adjust to the new home if it has familiar items in it for now. It might be tempting to redecorate as soon as you move into the new home but it is important to pace the changes and allow time for the children to settle into the new environment first.
 
Set up the children’s rooms as soon as possible

Setting up the children’s bedrooms should be a priority, even before doing anything else in the home. This will provide them with a refuge in the chaos of the move and will help them feel settled sooner.
 
Reconnect to move forward

Depending on the circumstances, visit the former town or neighbourhood or invite the child’s friends from the old area to the new home. Even if it’s brief, the reconnection with the past can help the child to move forward.
 
Visit the new school

If the move means that the children will be changing schools, then that presents its own unique challenges. Try to visit the new school with your child before he or she starts attending. Ask to meet the teachers, tour the classrooms, and maybe spend some time at the school with your child. Older children can be encouraged to do some online research into their new school to learn about the various extra murals that the school offers.
 
“While stressful at first, after a period of adjustment, the whole family will settle in and will be able to enjoy their new home and neighbourhood,” Goslett concludes.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK