10 tips to help your child feel at home anywhere
The first few days in a new home can be disconcerting. Help your child settle in as quickly as possible with these ten tips.
1) Sort out the sleeping arrangements
Depending on the time of day or night you arrive, it may be easier for you all to crash out in the same room for a night or two.
2) Kids’ rooms first
Your first priority should be to make up the children’s bedrooms. Let them choose which room they want, if this is feasible. Handing a bit of control to a child is a good way to help them feel valued.
3) Familiarity is comforting
Make the room as familiar as possible with items brought from your previous home; pictures, teddies and special toys. Don’t forget to bring a book or two.
4) Linen matters!
Familiar linen can make a huge difference to how quickly your child can settle in. Having a favourite pillow case in your luggage can be a trump card. Bringing the entire set will be wonderful.
5) Food matters more!
Carry some familiar foods with you in your luggage. Breakfast, in particular, needs to be easy, especially for younger kids who may be fussy eaters.
6) A homely family area
After the child’s room has been sorted out, make your family areas as homely as possible. Buy some plants. And a bunch of flowers and candles can help make a temporarily empty house look more homely.
7) Let children unpack
Once the rest of luggage arrives, enlist your child’s help to unpack their own boxes. As well as making the unpacking easier for you, your child will be suitably distracted with all their nearly forgotten toys. Again, organise their room first so they have somewhere comfortable to retire to: very useful while you try to unpack everything else.
8) Start school
If at all possible, start your child at school as soon as you can. It will help them make friends and get into the swing of their new life. Creating their own social circle and being distracted will help them acclimatise very quickly.
9) Fun and excitement
Make everything fun and exciting, but respect their emotions. It’s perfectly acceptable to feel unsettled and anxious so this should be acknowledged.
10) Live normally
Live as normally as you can. Keep to the same routines as much as you can. Remember, it’s just the country that’s different, not your family.
What strategies did you employ to help your children settle into their new home? Personally, I find that once our pets arrived we all soon feel at home!
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