Moving? Tips for preparing your children for the event

Moving is a stressful event for many adults, so why should it be any different for children?  It’s a truth that,  for many kids, moving is a very scary prospect – think about it.  It means leaving behind important things like their bedroom and home, potentially their school, teams and clubs, and possibly (and most importantly!) their friends.  Imagine how terrifying that must be!
Whether your move is across town or across country, preparation is the key to making the process less stressful on your children (and on yourself!).  Here are some tips on how to make the move more fun for both you and for them.
  1. Once you have decided to move, tell your children as soon as possible.  The more time they have to deal with the idea the better.
  2. Stay positive.  Your decision to make a move may be out of your hands ( job transfer or financial issues) and you may not be thrilled with it.  Regardless, keep a positive attitude about it as your child may pick up on your negative emotions.
  3. If moving to a distant place, help your child learn about the neighbourhood and location, and where they can take part in their favourite activities.
  4. Involve your children in the process of picking a new home by asking for opinions and suggestions.
  5. Take them with you on house hunting trips.
  6. If #4 isn’t possible, take lots of pictures of the inside and outside of the house, the yard, their bedrooms and the neighbourhood.
  7. Maintain your normal schedule (ie; bedtime, bath-time, mealtime).
  8. When making your own moving to-do list, make one for each child.
  9. Have your child pack a ‘special’ or ‘most important’ box of their things.  Items that are most important to your child will be readily available upon arrival in your new home.
  10. If you’re moving your child into a new school district make sure to avoid glitches that would add undue stress.  Find and gather any information (ie; most recent report card, transcript, birth certificate, etc.) the school might require to make the transition smooth.
  11. After the move, try to get your child’s room in order before dealing with the rest of the house.
  12. Be realistic with expectations about the transition as each child will differ in what time it takes to become comfortable in their new surroundings.

 

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