Nobody knows your children like you do and we wouldn’t presume for a second to try and tell you how they’ll be likely to react.
Based on our very extensive experience of furniture removals, Christchurch and elsewhere, we can say though that we’ve usually witnessed one of two apparent reactions with younger (say under about 8-9 years of age) children:
- wild excitement and they love every minute of the day;
- a very withdrawn and sorrowful-looking response. They may also become very ‘clingy’ with parents.
Of course, a lot depends upon an individual child’s personality but the second reaction above shouldn’t be surprising.
Many younger children don’t like radical change in what is for them, a familiar and safe environment. The more significant the changes are as a result of the move, say including new schools and friends, then the greater the risk of a fretful reaction on the day itself.
We thought we’d share with you a few techniques we seen parents use over the years; ones which have seemed to us to be effective:
- involving kids in the move. That goes from getting them to assemble and help pack boxes right up to helping to design and write-out labels etc.;
- arranging for some games and distractions on moving day. We’ve seen people who’ve had a few of their kids’ friends around and a friendly parent or two to keep an eye on them. It seemed to work well – though keeping ‘the gang’ out of the way might be a challenge for you in some cases!;
- getting a family member to take the children for a few hours. It’s not an easy call to make but for some children that might spare them seeing their familiar home and its items dismantled in front of them.
In the final analysis, there’s no ‘best approach’ because children vary so much in terms of their reaction to moving home. Something that works well with one child might not be so successful with another.
There are plenty of other useful tips online for how to deal with this sometimes slightly challenging position.