Preparing Your Child for a Move

Moving is an exciting time for the whole family!  As the decision makers, Parents have the inside scoop on all the details of a move.  Here’s an article from KidsHealth.org talking about sharing these details with the younger members of the family.

Discussing the Move with Kids

It’s important to prepare kids to move and one way to do so is to talk about it. Try to give your child as much information about the move as soon as possible. Answer questions completely and truthfully, and be receptive to both positive and negative reactions. Even if the move means an improvement in family life, kids don’t always understand that and may be focused on the other aspects of change.

Involving kids in the planning as much as possible makes them feel like participants in thehouse-hunting process or the search for a new school. This can make the change feel less like its being forced on them. If you’re moving across town, try to take your child to visit the new house (or see it being built) and explore the new neighborhood. For distant moves, provide as much information as you can about the new home, city, and state (or country). Learn where kids can participate in favorite activities. See if a relative, friend, or even a real estate agent can take pictures of the new house and new school for your child.

Moving With Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Here are some times for an easy transition for young kids:

Keep explanations clear and simple. Use a story to explain the move, or use toy trucks and furniture to act it out. When you pack your toddler’s toys in boxes, make sure to explain that you aren’t throwing them away. If your new home is nearby and vacant, go there to visit before the move and take a few toys over each time.

Hold off on getting rid of your child’s old bedroom furniture, which may provide a sense of comfort in the new house. It might even be a good idea to arrange furniture in a similar way in the new bedroom. Avoid making other big changes during the move, like toilet training or advancing a toddler to a bed from a crib. Arrange for your toddler or preschooler to stay with a babysitter on moving day.

Moving With School-Age Kids

There are two schools of thought about “the right time to move.” Some experts say that summer is the best time because it avoids disrupting the school year. Others say that midyear is better because a child can meet other kids right away. To avoid glitches that would add stress, gather any information the new school will need to process the transfer. That may include the most recent report card or transcript, birth certificate, and medical records.

After Moving Day

After the move, try to get your child’s room in order before turning your attention to the rest of the house. Also, try to maintain your regular schedule for meals and bedtime to give kids a sense of familiarity. When your child does start school, you may want to go along to meet as many teachers as possible or to introduce your child to the principal.

Set realistic expectations about the transition. Generally, teachers expect new kids to feel somewhat comfortable in their classes in about 6 weeks. Some kids need less time; others might need more.

 

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