Moving with children can be stressful for everyone. Over the years, the Just Call Brenda Team and I have come up with some practical tips to help ease the process...
BEFORE THE MOVE:
- Tell your kids about the move as soon as possible and keep them in the loop on important move information
- If you're moving from out-of-state, plan a family trip prior to moving so children will be able to get a feel for the area
- Try to visit while school is in sessions so your child really gets a feel for the building and can see their fellow students
- Make a last visit to your favorite places
- Plan their new bedroom. Let older children and teens view the move as an opportunity to update and give their room a new look
- If possible, schedule to move at the end of the summer. Kids get one last summer with their old friends and can better transition into school and activities
- Use after-school activities to help kids make friends
- Use contacts from the old neighborhood to help you find similar programs in the new one
- Have your children each pack a box of "treasures" that will travel with them. Be sure to include activities to keep them busy during travel and unpacking
- Give yourself an extra week for packing when moving with kids!
- Have a "Welcome Home" celebration and let your children pick their favorite restaurant, type of food or activity to "celebrate" their help in making the move successful and the beginning of a new adventure
- Re-establish regular family routines, such as mealtimes and bedtimes, right away
- With toddlers, keep things and routines familiar. Set up their new room similar to the old one
- Allow your children some say in setting up their new bedrooms
- Spend time teaching younger children their new address and phone number
- Look for warning signs of children not adjusting well. Long-term anxiety, depression, significant disruptions in sleep, poor socialization and failing grades may indicate that a child may need professional mental health services to help them adjust to their new environment. Seek help early.
HAVE PETS? Everyone will feel more at home once "Fluffy" is settled in. While your pet does not need in-depth conversations about the family's move, they do need to be given the same consideration as your children.
- Pack their favorite toys, food bowls and bed. Know what room is going to be "their's" in the new house
- Let them settle in at their own pace.
- Cats are more comfortable to explore one room at a time so confine them, making sure all their "necessities" are available. They will let you know when they are ready to explore more
- Keep dogs on a leash until they get to know the new neighborhood
- It's important not to let your pets roam the neighborhood immediately. Combing the neighborhood for lost pets is not the way to meet the new neighbors!