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Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to Have a Successful Move with Kids at Home

Moving is hard. It’s hard emotionally and physically…you are sad to leave one place but happy to start over in another. And hard physically, all the sorting, cleaning, packing, marking and boxing up. Now add children to this moving equation and it makes it even harder. Kids are scared and maybe angry because of the change this will bring to their lives. So how do you explain to your kids why and what moving is all about so that they can get over their fear and be excited about it? This post will give some tips to help soothe the high emotions that moving can bring out before the moving van arrives.

Communicate "why." Talk with your children patiently and frequently. Let your children know, step by step, what is happening and what is likely to happen next in the process. When you are sure a move is in your future, talk to your children about the "why" of the move. List all the advantages there are for the child in the move. For example, will the family be closer to Grandma, the ocean, or another favorite person, place, or activity? Will they be able to see old friends and family frequently or at least at holidays?

Show and tell. Show as much as you can about the new home before you get there. When you show your children their room and play area, make a game of it by asking where certain favorite toys or furniture should go. If you are moving far away, have fun by showing your child the photos or new house plans online or draw them yourself and let your child cut out furniture and toys to place in the rooms. Walk your child through a typical day in the home as you go from room to room.

Introduce your child to the new community online. Draw a map, and show how close Mom and Dad work, where schools are, where Aunt Jane lives, and other points of interest to help them orient themselves in their new surroundings.

Be ready for those "What about me?" questions. If your child is in little league, scouts, or other organizations contact those associations for referrals in your new neighborhood or city. If your children know they don't have to give you their favorite sport or hobby that will help them adjust more quickly to their new home.

If you look at moving as an exciting adventure full of fun, new possibilities, your children will absorb your enthusiasm. What has worked well for you in preparing your children or yourself for a move?

After you have talked to your child about moving and what it will be like what can you do on the day of the move to reinforce what you have been preparing for. Here are some ways involve your child on moving day and help them get settled in their your home.

Let them pack. Keep your child occupied by letting them plan and pack a box or two of their things. Talk to them about where they will put their things in their new room so they can better visualize themselves in a new place.

Help them say their good-byes. Encourage them to take the time in person to exchange good-byes with friends and loved ones. Help them to plan times to say these good-byes so that they don't feel like they missed anyone before you have to leave. Give them an address book to collect the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of their friends and loved ones so they can stay in touch.

Bring their favorites. On moving day, have a bag packed of personal belongings for each member of the family, being careful to include medications, clothes, and personal items. Let your children choose what they wish to take along, and reassure them they will see their other toys when they arrive in their new home.

Keep as much the same as possible. There is a lot of change happening for your children that you cannot control, so try to stick to normal routines as much as possible. Let your children know that in the new house, the rules of the household will still be the same. They still need to be in bed by... and homework has to be done before they can play etc. And although Mom and Dad are a little busier and distracted with the move, they love their children very much and are giving the entire household a new opportunity to grow.

Your preparedness will go a long way in reassuring your children that their needs are being considered, even while big changes are happening around them.


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