House-hunting for your family home is always a stressful time, having to take into account everyone’s individual priorities and manage their expectations and emotions along the way.
When you’re house-hunting with children, particularly if you’re moving to a new area, get ready for an emotional rollercoaster! It can be tough, but it helps to be prepared for what might be ahead. Put yourself in the shoes of a six-year old, and it tends to go a bit like this:
- Excitement. “Woohoo! Looking round new houses is great fun. I’m going to have the pink room and that slide in the garden looks awesome!!”
- Disappointment. “What was wrong with that house? Pink room, garden slide? So what if Dad says “it’s a 45 minute walk to the station and lacks ‘period features’”, whatever they are?!”
- Boredom. “Seriously, a 2-hour car ride to go house-hunting again? Can’t I just stay at home this time?”
- Cautious optimism. “Apparently we’ve found the perfect house; we’re going to move. Mum and Dad are super happy – not sure what that really means though?”
- Disappointment. “What, you mean we have to leave our school? And our friends? And someone else is moving into our house??”
- Anger. “How could you do this to us, I hate you!!” (Unfortunately, they do all say this at some point along the journey but we promise, they don’t mean it!)
- Sadness. “I don’t want to say goodbye, how will I ever make friends, ever again
- Nervousness. “We’ve moved into the new house and it’s my first day at my new school, what if no one likes me?”
- Excitement. “I met Sally and Ruby, Daniel and George and they’re all going to be my friends. There’s a new dance club that I want to join and can we run down the road to the water meadows to play again, please?”
- Happiness. “I love our new house, I can’t wait for my old friends to visit!”
These stages can all take a little time to get through; and you’ll jump between them throughout the journey. Sometimes it helps to write down the reasons for your move and keep the list in front of your mind throughout the bad times. You’ll get to the good times sooner than you think!
Here at ScoutBee, we’ve helped several families throughout this journey – witnessing tears and tantrums in the process. But seeing the joy on their faces once they step into their new home, and bumping into them in the street several weeks later, with the smile still there, makes it all worthwhile!