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Moving Tips to Help Guide Your Child through the Big Move

You know that moving is stressful for you, but it can be particularly challenging for children. As an adult, you probably have gone through a number of moves already, but your children might be moving from the only home, neighborhood, and city they’ve ever known.

Moving Tips to Help your Child through the Big Move

Here are some ways to help your child cope and prepare for a move.

1. Be Open an Communicate

At almost any age, children are unlikely to be too receptive to a move that disrupts their lives. Once you’ve decided to move, it’s a good idea to have a family meeting and be upfront about your decision with the kids. Give your children the highlights about why you’ve chosen to move, and use it as a chance to foster dialogue and let them express how they feel.

2. Show Them What’s Next

The first reaction to a move is often fear or nervousness, so don’t just tell them—show them. If you already have a new house or a short list of homes for sale that you’re considering, let the kids see what’s next for the family. The key is to make them feel included in the moving process. If there are benefits to the kids associated with the move, such as enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own, then let them know.

3. Make a Map

When it comes to things like homes and school districts, a map can clarify what words can’t. There are usually floor plans available when you’re looking at houses for sale, or you can make your own version of a map for the new home. Other features of interest include the city or school district. Point out landmarks and fun places that might be of interest, such as schools, parks, restaurants, and other special items.

4. Go Hands-on with Schools

Children can find it difficult to adjust to a new school with new teachers and unfamiliar faces. Do your due diligence on the different schools in the area, and communicate your findings to the children. Even better, arrange to have your children visit schools ahead of time. If possible, giving them the chance to pick their favorite is a great way to make the process go more smoothly.

5. Keep the Children Involved

Your children want to know that their voice is being heard. Don’t forget to come to them for their opinion on things, and make sure they pack at least some of their own possessions. Have them sort through toys and items and set aside things they’ll no longer use. When it comes time to buy a house, don’t make too many decisions without their input.

6. Have a Going Away Party

One of the toughest parts of moving for children is leaving friends behind. For many kids, they might be leaving friends they’ve known for their whole lives or all through school. Give them a chance to say goodbye formally through a going away party. Consider calling it a “See You Soon” party to emphasize that moving isn’t the end of their friendships.

Source: / Leslie Piper