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Moving with Kids


Moving ranks as one of the top ten most stressful events in a person's life. This factor is magnified when children are involved in a move. However, relocation is a fact of life for many families in today's mobile society. Here's a few ideas that may help your children adjust to (and maybe even look forward to) moving to a new city .

Timing and Telling

  • If possible do not move after school has finished for the year. Many child psychologists and teachers say that children (of any age) adjust better if they arrive in a new school while there is still time to make some new friends before the summer break.
  • Tell your children about the upcoming move, as soon as the decision has been made. Don't let the "for sale" sign on the lawn be the way they find out.
  • Even if you have some doubts about the move (especially, if it is a job transfer you didn't feel should be turned down) try to be positive about the move. Make it sound exciting.
  • Don't try to convince (or bribe) your children to accept the move by offering something they wouldn't ordinarily receive (e.g. offer to buy a car for a teenager who refuses to move and who insists on staying with friends or relatives). It is better if the whole family can move together (an exception might be a short stay to complete a school semester).

Creating Some Excitement when Moving with Kids

  • Make learning about the new city a family affair. If your children are computer savvy put them in charge of finding out information from the web. Most Cities have their own web sites, to promote life in their communities. A general site with good link is: www.50states.com.
  • Have the children make a list of places they want to visit at the new location. Keep the list, so you will remember to fulfill some of the requests.
  • If possible, try to take the children with you for a visit to the new location, once you have purchased a new home.
  • If you know where your children will be attending school, contact the principal and ask if there is any way to arrange to have a pen pal assigned so your children will know someone when they arrive
  • Check this out for more information, about Bay Area Kids activities: "Bay area Kids Fun".

Preparing your Kids, for the Move

  • Let the children be involved in some of the pre-move sorting. Resist the urge to automatically throw out old, worn toys (especially those belonging to young children). Let them keep whatever makes them most comfortable.
  • If you're having a garage sale, let the children help.
  • Assign tasks like completing address change cards, returning library books etc.

Maintaining Friendship

  • Make sure your children know they can call, write or e-mail friends. Consider buying them one of those pre-paid calling cards, for long distance calling.
  • Plan a party for your children and some selected friends before the move.
  • Buy a disposable camera and have them take pictures of friends and favorite places including their "old" home.
  • Plan a few final visits to favorite venues (zoo, skating rink, sports stadium etc').

Most of all, take time to listen to your children during this very stressful time!

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