moving; house; removals; change; family; school; move;
There are lots of reasons for your family to be moving house.
- Maybe you need a bigger or a smaller house.
- Maybe you need to move because mum or dad has a different job or has lost a job.
- Maybe your parents want to live in a different area or different town.
- Maybe there are problems in the family eg. Divorce.
- Maybe you need to be closer to a grandparent or someone who needs to be cared for.
- Maybe someone in the family is seriously ill or has had a bad accident and this has led to a need to move.
There are lots of other reasons for moving but one thing is for sure - moving can be really unsettling and stressful. It can also be exciting.
Moving can be stressful
Everyone likes to feel settled and happy. Even if you are all looking forward to moving it can still be an unsettling time.
You may be worrying about things like:
- Will I have to move schools?
- Will I lose my friends?
- Will I be able to make new friends?
- Will I have my own room?
- How will I get to school?
- What about my pets?
- Will I have to leave things behind?
- Will I be able to see my relatives?
- How will my life change?
There are some topics which may help you: 'Divorce – when parents want to split', 'Changing schools', 'Unemployment in the family'
What you can do
- Think about how you are feeling and all the questions you want to ask and then make a time to sit down with your family to talk about moving house, what's worrying you and what to expect in the future.
- Find out about schools, what's in the new area and what your new home will be like.
- You may be able to look on the internet, find out from maps, a visitor's centre or your new school.
- You may be able to visit your new home and see where your room will be.
- You may be able to visit your new school and meet the teacher and your new class before you start there after your move.
Being able to find out about the things that are worrying you before you have to deal with them all at once is a really good idea.
Get an address book and write down people's addresses or collect email addresses so that you can stay in touch. Maybe you could get an autograph book and collect messages from all your class. Keep a class photo with everyone's name on it so that in years to come you will be able to remember them.
If you have time you may be able to take lots of photos of your friends, your team mates, your house, school, etc, so that you can look back later in your life and remember all the good times you had.
- If you and your friends have mobile phones, make sure that you have contact numbers.
How you can help the family
You can talk about what you can do to help the family get ready for the move.
Maybe you can help by:
- Sorting out your own things into 3 piles.
- Things that you want to sell or give away because you don't need them or have outgrown them. (Be sure to check with mum or dad on what you want to get rid of before you actually get rid of it!) Maybe some of your things can be passed on to other children in your extended family or friends.
- Things that you want to have in your room when you get there, eg. personal things like photos, toys, pillows and bedding.
- Things that you need on the journey or straight away.
- Numbering the boxes and making a list of what's in each box so that you can find things easily.
- Helping to pack other stuff.
- You could help find boxes, make lists of what is in each box, label each box to show which room it needs to go to in your new home.
- Preparing to say goodbye. It is sad to say goodbye to family, friends, neighbours, your school, church and other places you have known. Getting ready beforehand, making a list of places to go and people to see makes it easier and you will feel better if you get to say goodbye before you head off to your new life.
- Moving day is often a mixture of sadness and excitement.
- It's ok to feel sad, maybe even cry. Most people do feel like this when they are moving on from one place to another or from one time to another in their lives.
- Other people in your family will be having mixed up feelings too, particularly the adults who have to make a new place for their family, start a new home and maybe start a new job.
- Try to be helpful; look after younger children and help to keep them occupied if you have a long trip.
- When you get to your new place you can find your box of favourite things and unpack them to help you feel more at home. Maybe you could help younger brothers and sisters to do the same.
Settling down in your new home
Once you have got all your stuff in the house it will take a while to get everything sorted. It may take several days. Some people still have boxes to unpack many weeks after the move.
- You may find other kids in the street who you can play with.
- You may be able to walk around your district with them and find where everything is.
- You may be able to visit your school and your new class before you start there.
- You may find out what teams, sports, activities other kids do and be able to go with them to see if you want to join.
It's a good idea to take things easy with friendships at first. Mum, dad or whoever looks after you will probably not be happy if you invite every kid in the district to your house in the first few days when they are busy settling in.
- Once you get to school you will have a big choice of kids to be friends with.
- Stay in touch with old friends and try to visit or have them visit you later on.
What kids say
- "When we moved from England to Australia I was really scared at first. I didn't want to leave my nana, my friends and my school. It's ok now though because our new house is lovely. I like my school and I have made a lot of friends. I still miss Nana but she is coming to stay with us soon."
- "Take something to amuse you if you have a long trip, like on a plane, to your new house." Josh
- "When I moved house I felt nervous because I'd miss my friends and maybe never see them again. But, I settled in quickly and made new friends."
- "Don't be sad when you move because you'll make new friends."
- "Before you move get all your friends' addresses and phone numbers so you can keep in touch."
- "Moving house is sad at first but once you settle in you're okay." Aidan
Dr Kate says
Moving house is a big event. It is the beginning of a new time in your life. It takes a lot of effort and organization to move house. It is unsettling even when it is something that everyone is looking forward to.
It is even more unsettling when someone in the family, maybe an older sibling or yourself doesn't want to move. Talking to the family about your feelings and trying to understand can help everyone in the family settle in more quickly.
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.