Friday, 30 June 2017

Moving House: The Sacrifices You're Asking Your Family to Make

Anyone would agree that moving house is exciting. There’s no denying that it’s stressful, but a new beginning also offers the opportunity for a fresh start. We all need one of those from time to time.


When you’re young, free, and single, a home move is no big deal. You don’t have to consider anything but your needs. When you have a family, though, moving home isn’t such a walk in the park. In fact, there are a wealth of things you need to consider before you can even start to make the decision. You may have excellent reasons for wanting to move. Perhaps you want to move to the catchment area of an amazing school. Or, you might need a larger house to fit your ever-growing family. But, having a good reason doesn’t make the process easier. Nor does it mean everyone else will be on board. For your kids, a move may be the last thing they want.

Knowing where to start your consideration process can be a challenge. Once you delve into everything you need to consider, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve put together a list that should make things easier for you. Here are some of the main things you need to take into account.

School Upheaval

Any parent would agree that education is always the priority. So, you don’t need us to tell you that it should play a major part in your decision to move or not. If you’ve chosen to move because you want to be closer to a good school, this will already be at the forefront of your mind. And, of course, wanting your kids to have the best education is the role of any parent. From that viewpoint, the move makes perfect sense.


But, it might be worth thinking about this from your kid’s point of view. Moving to a new school is terrifying for a variety of reasons. For one, they’ll be leaving teachers and classmates they’re already working with. The loss of a good teacher could be enough to unravel their schoolwork, no matter how amazing their new school is. For another, they’ll be playing catchup for their first weeks, or even months, at their new school. While curriculums are the same, their new class may be working on a different project or area. With that in mind, consider seriously whether the move would help or hinder their education in the long-term.

Leaving friends behind

It’s also important to note that moving would mean pulling your children away from their buddies. You may be willing to leave your friends behind, knowing you can call or drive back to see them whenever you like. But, kids don’t have that freedom. To them, leaving friends behind may seem like the end of the world. They may convince themselves that they’ll never get to see them again. And, let’s be honest, kid’s rarely form lasting bonds. The likelihood is that they won’t keep in contact with friends they leave behind now. 

On the one hand, this is a problem they’ll get past quite fast. Kids are resilient and make friends quickly. But, it’s up to you whether it’s worth distressing them that way in the first place. The impact the move will have on their friendships also depends on their age. Younger kids will move past the hurdle fast, while older children and teenagers may take the loss a lot harder. It takes a brave parent to tear a teenager away from their first love. Are you willing to be the big bad wolf? One thing’s sure; a move like that will hinder your relationship with your child in a major way.

Losing a safety net

We all know how important it is that your child feels they have a safety net. Childhood and teen years are uncertain times when everything changes at a fast rate. Having a home life they can rely on is often what makes those changes bearable. If you’ve moved a lot in the past, this isn’t as relevant. But, if you’ve lived in the same house since your child was born, losing that house may have more of an impact than you could imagine. 

And, it’s not only the house that might create a sense of security for them. If you’re moving away from family, they’ll lose another layer of security. Again, this could have a significant impact. Of course, you know that your new home can become as much of a safety net, but your child won’t realize that. All they’ll see are the things they’re losing. Is that loss worthwhile?

So, how can you get them excited?

If you’ve considered all the above and still have your heart set on a move, it’s important to get your kids on side. The best way to do that is to get them excited about the opportunities ahead. That way, the focus won’t be on what they’re leaving behind. The best way to incite excitement is to get them involved in the house move process. Let them look for a new house for sale with you. It’s important you all get a good idea of what’s available.. Offer them first choice of bedroom, and talk them through decoration ideas.


When you start going on house viewings, make sure to take them along. Throughout the viewing, try to help them envision their life there. And, make sure to take their opinions on board. Remember that you’re asking them to give up a lot. If they don’t like a house you love, let it go. This move is important for the whole family. You should never force someone to settle on a home they don’t think they’d be happy in. Of course, you also need to be wary of them dismissing every choice out of anger. If you think that’s happening, take the time to talk things through with them. 

It’s also worth getting them excited about their new school. Take them for a look around, and ask if it’s possible for them to meet a few teachers. In some cases, the school might even let them do a taster day, or talk with other students. This is fantastic because it ensures there will be some familiar faces when they join. They may enjoy themselves so much that they forget how upsetting it was to leave their old school behind.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why a house move could be hard for your family. But, if the above points don’t discourage you, it may well be the right thing for all of you. Taking the above steps should be all it takes to get your kids on side. But, even if they don’t work, the relationship won’t suffer forever. They may lock themselves in their room for the first few weeks, but they’ll soon come out again when they realize that moving wasn’t so bad after all. They’ll soon forget about all the things they were desperate not to leave. And, when that happens, you can all start to reap the rewards of your move. 

Bear in mind, though, that if you have any reservations, a move may not be what you need. Perhaps it’s the wrong time. Or, maybe the sacrifices are too large to overcome. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that a move isn’t the right step to take right now. You could always consider extending, or finding some other way to make the room you already have suit you!


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