Many child and family psychologists believe moving house can be as stressful for children as death and divorce.
In an interview with Domain, leading child psychologist and author, Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg, says he has counselled many children facing moves.
“While moving can be a time for some great new things — like your own room or a new place to explore — it can also be a time that’s sad and stressful, too,” he says.
Dr Carr-Gregg believes it is essential for parents to communicate with their children and answer all their questions honestly.
Books are a great way for parents to begin the communication process. While there are hundreds on the market, here are the top 5.
1. What About My Goldfish? written by Jennifer Plecas and illustrated by Pamela D. Greenwood
Jamie worries about moving to another city, but with the help of his dog and pet goldfish, he adjusts to his new home.
2. Moving House written by Anne Civardi and Michelle Bates, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright
Describes the process of moving to a new home, as the Sparks’ family packs, moves, unpacksand meets their new neighbours.
3. Boomers Big Day written by Constance W. McGeorge and illustrated by Mary Whyte
Boomer’s ready for his morning walk. Here’s his leash. There’s the door. But try as he might, he can’t get anyone to pay attention to him. The humans in the house don’t rush out the door after breakfast as they normally do. And, most confusing of all, strangers arrive to pack all the things in Boomer’s house into boxes. There’s definitely something unusual going on.
4. Big Ernie’s New Home: A Story For Young Children Who Are Moving written by Teresa and Whitney Martin
One morning, Little Henry said to Big Ernie, “It’s time to put our toys in boxes. Today we’re moving to a new home.”
New home? How could this be home? The colours were all different. The smells were all different and everything felt different too. There wasn’t even a sidewalk for Big Ernie’s paws to pad along.
He was mad and sad and scared. But little by little, he began to notice things that were familiar and comforting. And then he began to notice exciting new adventures all around him. Big Ernie started to feel better. A lot better.
5. The Berenstein Bears Moving Day written by Stan and Jan Berenstein
This is the story of the Bear family’s move to their now-famous tree house in Bear Country. Would Brother Bear like it? Would he find new friends? He wasn’t sure until he got there.