Google+ Authentic Parenting: How to Prepare Children for Moving

Thursday, January 2, 2014

How to Prepare Children for Moving

content provided by Alex S.

Children need special attention when moving, as relocating can be very difficult for them. It may not be possible to have an entirely smooth transition, from one home to the next, but by employing the
following actions you’re helping to ensure that the relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

Give Them Time to Say Goodbye

It’s important that kids have plenty of time to adjust to the idea of moving. Make sure they’re clear on when you’re moving, such as telling them the date or explaining that it’s a few weeks or months away. You can start an advent calendar of sorts, crossing out every day until you reach your actual moving day.
This way, your kids will be able to tell their friends, teachers and others exactly when they’re leaving. It’s likely your children are going to miss their friends and old classmates when they make the difficult transition to “new student.” Encourage your child to collect phone numbers and addresses, so they can keep in touch with any of the people they care about.

Keep Your Child Moving

Involving your children in the process of moving will help them stay excited about it. Encourage your kids to pack their own rooms, offering them markers and labels to decorate their boxes. They’ll enjoy making their boxes stand out, as well as they’ll begin to fantasize about what their new rooms will look like.

Don’t keep your kids out of the loop, no matter how small the errand. By keeping them involved, you’re helping their anticipation to grow, thus engaging their curiosity about their new home. By involving your children in the moving process, you’re ensuring they understand everything that’s happening.
Imagine if your daughter packs up her stuffed animals and that box is loaded into a shipping container. Your little girl isn’t going to see her fuzzy friends until you’ve completed your move and this may upset her. But, if you chose to bring her along, you may avoid the tears and confusion.
Most movers welcome children at their offices and will be happy to discuss moving containers and shipping policies with you and answer any questions your children may have.

“Involving kids in the planning as much as possible makes them feel like participants in the house-hunting process or the search for a new school. This can make the change feel less like it is being forced on them,”

says Kids Health, a non-profit government website devoted to helping families raise healthy kids.

Get Them Excited About their New Community

If possible, acquire a map of your new community or neighborhood. Lay it out and start going over some local attractions with your children. You’ll want to circle where your home is located, so children can get excited about what’s nearby.
Mark areas that may be of interest to your kids, then pour over the map, discussing what’s nearby and worth visiting. If you don’t currently live within walking distance to a park, but your new home is, that’s worth discussing. Keep the conversation positive and encourage kids to get excited and ask questions. Eventually, when you’re driving through your new community, you’ll be able to point out some of the landmarks you discussed.

Unpack Their Rooms First

Finally, once you’ve successfully moved into your new place, help children unpack their rooms first. Keep them busy with decorating and self-expression. They’ll love the activity of setting up their things in a new space. Plus, having the comfort of their belongings will help them feel safe their first few nights.


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