I would rather boil my head than move house.
Since living in Germany I've put myself through the hell that is packing, unpacking and wondering where your clean knickers are six times. But move we did, yet again. This time hopefully the last as we've taken the plunge and bought a home (as opposed to renting as the majority of Germans do). Primarily the decision was made with Finje in mind, but leaving the hustle and bustle of city-centre Hamburg for the peace and tranquility of the countryside has had a positive effect on the whole family.
Beforehand I was warned not to underestimate the stress such a move can cause your child. Your child? A few days in and the head boiling option began to look very attractive. Still, not wishing to dismiss the warning offhand I turned to the World Wide Web for tips on how to make the transition as stress free as possible at least for one member of the family! Suggestions included:
- Make the child's room the first you decorate so providing a safe haven from the chaos.
- Make their room as similar as possible to the previous one.
- Let them pack their own things therefore keeping them involved in the proceedings.
The list went on....
Hand on heart, we fully intended to implement all recommendations but, in short, we.......didn't.
Instead we took the yellow-bellied, cowardy cat's way out and farmed her off to her grandparents until the bulk of the house-decorating offensive was completed. And guess what? She waltzed into her new home like she'd been living there all her life. For Finje it was all just a big adventure and she took it all in her stride. Actually, after the initial relief, we then began to worry if her reaction was normal!
Still, that sleeping dog was left to lie whilst we concentrated on the next worry, the new kindergarten.
Apparently also not to be underestimated. In Finje's case she was pulled out of her city-centre, multi-cultural nursery with 150 kids and placed into a little village group of 30. Yet again, despite my concerns, Finje, played a blinder. She strolled in on her first day, immediately demanded I leave as she was a "big girl now" and proceeded to seamlessly integrate into her new environment. My social diva!
I know we are lucky. If I'm honest, I'm still waiting for a revenge bed-wetting incident.
That said, it seems to me there is an important lesson to be learned here:
There is indeed something never to be underestimated.....your kids.
What are your child upheaval experiences?
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