Removals: Removals and Children
Removals are generally done in order to provide children and other family members with more opportunity and a better neighbourhood in which to grow up. However, as good as a parent’s intentions are when deciding to move either locally or internationally, children may not look favourably upon a relocation.
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When you begin planning a removal, it is always important to take into consideration your children’s feelings, as they are going to be as affected as you will be – sometimes even more so. Young children need stability in their lives and a move can oftentimes be severely traumatic, especially if they will be leaving behind grandparents, extended family and friends. In order to get your children excited about your move you should begin discussing the matter with them as soon as you know that you will be moving. In fact, involving them at every stage of the game will help to prepare a child psychologically as well as emotionally for your departure.
If at all possible, when you have narrowed your home search down to one or two finalists, take your children with you to visit the properties so that you can get their input. They might feel more comfortable in one place as opposed to the other and that can definitely help you make the final decision. If it is not possible to include your children in the final decision making process, then at least take them to visit the new house and the new neighbourhood as soon as you are definite about the removal. By allowing children to get used to the idea of a removal well in advance of the actual move, you are less likely to be faced with behavioural changes and problems following the move.
To help children prepare for removals another thing you can do is to have them make a list of their friends and get all of their friends’ addresses and telephone numbers so that they can keep in touch with. If possible you can even invite their friends over to the new place for a get-together following your removal. If you have moved out of the country or are simply too far for such a reunion, then at least have your child call their friends or send them letters soon after you have settled into your new place.
Another way to ease the trauma of removals on children is to get them involved with the packing up of their room. Have them put all of their special things into a separate box that they can take with them in the car. By having their “security blanket” readily available, when you get to your new home, your children will be able to decorate their new rooms personally so that they feel more at home than if they had to sleep in a totally bare room.
Children can adapt quite well to local moves and even to overseas removals; as long as they are given the right tools to help them cope with the emotions they will feel due to separation from the familiar. If you plan your removal properly, then your children will benefit from the experience and grow stronger for it.