Settle your child into a new home – quickly!

In Arrival, Expat Kids, Younger kids: 4-8 year olds by Carole Hallett Mobbs8 Comments

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10 tips to help your child feel at home anywhere

The first few days in a new home can be disconcerting. The first few days in a new home in a new country… well, that’s a whole new ball game!

There’s a saying that “a happy mother means happy children”, and that is true. However, when you first arrive in a new house, it’s much easier for mother to be happy if the kids aren’t playing up. To do that, it really helps to get your children settled into their new bedrooms as soon as possible. If you’ve taken my advice, you’ll be well prepared for this, because you will have packed certain, special items in your suitcases.

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 ASAP

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.

You know your children best, so consider what they particularly find ‘homely’ and comforting and incorporate that into your move abroad. Personally, I find that once our pets arrived we all soon feel at home!

Make sure you’re well prepared BEFORE you move

Help your children settle quickly and well into their new home with my expert tips and tricks here…

The Arrivals Checklist

Get my insider tips on what to pack and plan ready for your first days in your new home.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for giving me the idea to enroll my daughter to the nearest school in our new home as soon as we settle and let her be distracted by her new friends. My husband is looking for some single-family homes for sale in Portland, OR since we really don’t like how far our current house is to the necessary amenities and we’re looking for a better neighborhood. Our daughter is our only problem since we think that she might not be able to adjust to the new life well. Still, it’s good that I came across your article, and I hope that moving and settling will definitely be better for our entire family.

  2. Pingback: Moving to Australia: Help Your Child Adjust to Expat Lifestyle

  3. Using picture frame wall decals on walls or furniture can be a very fast way to get the pictures of friends and family up in a child’s room. It’s especially helpful if you won’t be able to put nails in the wall.

  4. Pingback: Help Your Child Adjust to Expat Lifestyle - Sydney Moving Guide

  5. As you’ve mentioned above, we absolutely focused on our daughter’s room first. I was in the property with our stuff before my wife and daughter so I just went crazy to get her room all set up and similar to home.

    She had the same bed sheets, toys and posters which worked out great.

    Once she we’d over the excitement of the pool she was happy to see her bedroom :).

    Al

  6. Pingback: Culture Shock in Children - Globiana

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