You will move many valuable possessions when you change addresses, but none are as precious as your children.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your children for their upcoming move:
- Before you leave, make a final visit to your child’s favorite place(s). You could even bring a camera so your child can hold on to their favorite memories.
- Encourage your child to exchange home and email addresses with their friends. They can take pictures of them too. You can remind them that staying in touch with their friends is fun. Then, when they get to their new home, they can write to their friends and tell them all about it.
- Try to include the children when making plans for the move. If it’s possible, take them with you when you visit your new city or to see your new home. This may alleviate some of their “fears of the unknown.”
- Talking with your children about the move is very important. Encourage them to talk about their feelings; ask them if they feel scared, nervous or apprehensive. Encourage them to ask questions so you can put their minds at ease. If you explain why you are moving, what the new home will be like and the exciting things that will be found in the new area, they may start to feel more optimistic about the experience.
- Help your child learn about their new city. Libraries, tourist information centers, the local Chamber of Commerce, book stores, the internet and moving companies are all good sources of information.
- Research some places like zoos, parks, museums and malls (for the teenagers!) that they might enjoy in their new neighborhood. Some of these exciting places may even have a website so they can read about it.
- Just before Moving Day, prepare a package for each child with their favorite toys, books, clothing and snacks. Label it with the child’s name and be sure to keep it handy during the actual move.
- Although you may be tempted to discard their old, tattered toys, you may want to hold on to a few of your child’s favorites. Let them unpack some of these well-loved toys and put them in their new room. Let them decide how his or her room will be arranged and decorated.
- Once you arrive, survey your new home for loose steps, low overhangs and other possible accident areas. Keep an eye on the children until they become familiar with the new home’s peculiarities.
- If you can, take a break from setting up your new home and spend as much time with your child as you can. Once they start school, they will be anxious to tell you all about it, their teachers, their classes and all of their experiences.
- Going to a new school may be difficult. You may want to accompany your child for the first few days to help them feel more relaxed. Follow their progress closely and do not hesitate to visit with their teacher.
- If you are moving to a radically different environment – rural to urban, or vice-versa – be sure your children are aware of the differences and understand what to look out for.