How to Prepare Your Children For A Move

Let’s face it, for anyone, a move can be a daunting experience. There’s plenty of good things about it – but as humans, we are resistant to change, and we may be afraid of what the future holds in a new house, new town, new environment.

Children, however, have a much harder time than adults. One reason is because they’ve had little say in the move. If possible, involve children in house hunting, and let them choose things like which room will be theirs, or colors they can paint it. Find out ahead of time what school they will be attending and maybe take them

On a Saturday to scope out the playground or basketball court. Bonus – there may be some neighborhood children there that they can meet! Find out where the mall, arcade, bowling alley, movie theatre, and pizza joint are, so that right away you can begin having fun experiences with the kids.

Be honest about your own fears and feelings. This helps children know it’s okay to have fears and to voice them. In fact, encourage your children to talk about the move frequently.

Think of ways they can stay in touch with old friends, such as email and FaceTime, and plan a visit back to your old neighborhood before you ever move. This gives children something to look forward to.

Encourage them to try new things in their new school/neighborhood – they have a fresh start and can basically “reinvent” themselves. This is especially appealing to teenagers. Find out where dance classes are held, whether there are soccer teams, etc, so that your children can begin to make new friends right away.

Try to plan a move in the summer. That way, your child isn’t starting school in the middle of the semester, and his or her first day is everyone’s first day. If the move is taking place due to a divorce or death, it’s best to try to postpone it for a little bit to let the child acclimate to the new family dynamics.

Make sure you move to an area that allows them to have their pets. The loss of a pet during this time would be especially hard.

Even though you are very busy and stressed with your own issues regarding the move, remember your child needs you more than ever, so schedule special time to talk, take a walk, play basketball, or perhaps a hike in your new area. These small things give great comfort to your child and make your house feel like a home.


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