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Moving to a New Home with Children

The concept of moving is simple: you pack up your things and go. But for children, moving to a new home is as about as complicated as it gets. Parents can help ease the transition a bit, though, by helping their children realize that while a move represents an ending, it also represents a beginning. Even if more than a day away, consider a family trip to your new home prior to the move to help your children prepare for their new beginning. If the move is a long distance one, your family might have to explore via the Internet.

Before the Move

  • Let them see where they'll be living. They'll feel less nervous knowing what to expect. Seeing their new room and neighborhood can help them get excited about new possibilities.
  • Visit the school. Introduce yourself and your child. Learn about the school and school activities that might interest your child.
  • Say hello to your neighbors-to-be. Pay particular attention to finding and saying hello to families nearby who have kids close in age to your kids.
  • Find out what's going on in your community. Check out the local community or recreation center. Stop by the library and find out about activities it offers.

Goodbyes and Moving Day

  • Get contact information from your friends. Moving is sad for everyone. One way to help soften the feeling of loss is to encourage your child to record addresses of friends and neighbors in an address book so they can keep in touch with them.
  • Record memories. Encourage your child to take photos and videos of friends and the neighborhood. Putting together a scrapbook or shoebox of special items can be a good parent/child activity.
  • Consider a party. This doesn't have to be anything elaborate and can give you and your children a chance to get to know your neighbors. Encourage your child to accompany you as you hand-deliver the invitations.

After the move let your child settle in. When you get to your new address, try to give your child time right away to decorate his new room with favorite items from his old room.