October 2, 2009, Newsletter Issue #160: Relocating with Kids

Tip of the Week

Relocating with children can be difficult. It is hard enough as an adult to move away from a much loved home, a great neighborhood, schools and of course, friends! Imagine how difficult that move is for a child. If you are relocating to a new area and you have children, it is important to keep them involved in the entire moving process. Moving may be a huge adjustment for them and keeping a child involved may make the entire move more exciting for them.

Before you move make sure you have talked with your child about moving. He or she may not get a choice in the matter, but at least explain why you are moving and share some of the positives this move will give your family. Ask your child how she feels about moving and ask her to share any fears she may have, then ask her what she thinks may be exciting about relocating. Remind her as the moving process continues of the exciting things that she has to look forward to and help calm any fears she may have.

As you look for new homes in your new city or town, include your child in the home search. If she is old enough, bring her along and get her opinions. If she isn't old enough, take pictures and show them to her later. Show her the area you are looking at and any exciting activities there may be to do in that area. Drive by the school she might go to. Do as much as you can to get her acclimated to the area before even settling in to your new home.

While you pack or if the packing is done for you, ask your child if she wants to pack her own belongings or perhaps pack a special box filled with her favorite things to take on the move. Having her loved stuffed animals with her instead of on a moving truck may help calm any nerves. Encourage your child to say goodbye to close friends and to exchange emails (if acceptable) to keep in touch with friends she may be leaving.

After you move, encourage your child to make friends in the area. If you see families with children your child's age, make the first move and introduce yourself. Invite them over to play.

Relocating with children can be difficult. If a parent makes the their child feel special and involved with the process the entire time, that can help alleviate some of the difficulty involved.

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