Preparing Your Child for a Move
Moving to a new home or even a new city can be a scary prospect for your child, no matter what their age. Your child''s moving experience can be positive or negative depending on how well you prepare them.Moving to a new home or even a new city can be a scary prospect for your child, no matter what their age. Your child''s moving experience can be positive or negative depending on how well you prepare them. If you''ve got a move on the horizon, you can use the following steps to make the experience great for the whole family.
1.Start talking about the move early
As soon as you know that you''ll be moving and know the basic details of the move (where you''ll be living, where your kids will be going to school, etc), you need to share this information with your child. The extent of your sharing will depend on their age. Older children will feel comforted by specific details about the move right away while younger children may feel overwhelmed by too much information. If this is the case, you should share small pieces of information slowly as the child asks for them.
2.Listen to their concerns
One of the worst things that a parent can do is put their foot down about the move and refuse to listen a child''s concerns. Your child may have questions about why she has to move, what school she''ll attend and what will happen to their old friends. Although your child''s concerns won''t change the move, it will make them feel a lot better to know that you are willing to listen. Help them work through their issues with the move and calm their fears. Don''t just sweep their concerns under the rug ? they are valid and they deserve to be answered. Come up with the best answers that you can and if you don''t know an answer, look it up together.
3.Involve them as much as possible
This will vary greatly depending on your child''s age. Teens and pre-teens may be involved with choosing your new home. Younger children can pick which toys they''d like to bring along in the moving van. Children as young as two can help pack on the moving day. Involving your children helps them realize that this process is about the family and not something that has been thrust upon them. On the moving day, they can help out with any age appropriate jobs.
4.Give them a concrete plan for staying in touch with old friends and family members
One of the biggest concerns children have is how they''ll stay in touch with friends once they move. Help ease their fears by giving them their own address book full of the addresses of their loved ones. If they are old enough, they can stay in touch via e-mail or even with a web cam. By working out a plan with your child, they''ll be more comfortable envisioning what living in their new home will be like.
5.Get your child excited about their new home
Once you''ve made the move, take a tour of the new town as a family. Look for restaurants, bookstores, parks and other activities that you can participate in together. This will help you all feel more at home.
With the right attitude and the previous steps, you can make our move a positive experience for the whole family.