Moving is hard on even the happiest and most cheerful of us. For kids, who are little roller-coasters of emotion, it’s even harder. They have to change schools, change neighborhoods, change houses, and even leave friends behind – and it’s all so much at once. The difficulty of coping with the change can even lead to depression. So, don’t let your kids get lost in everything you need to do to move. Instead, engage your kids from the get-go. The more they get involved with the move, the better they’ll be able to adapt to the change and the better chance they’ll become excited about the move.
Let your kids know you’ll be moving as soon as you can. If you have older kids, get them involved in the discussion, to help you weigh the positives and negatives regarding the move. The more you involve them, the more they’ll feel like they’re part of the entire process.
No matter how old they are, they can be involved with the move by helping you with tasks. Younger children can help by creating a list of all the things they want to take with them. Older children can research the new town you’ll be moving to so they can begin thinking about the things they want to see and do when they arrive at the new place.
If possible, show your kids the new city, the new neighborhood, and the new home where they’ll be living. If you’re moving far away, you can buy travel guides, download pictures, check out the new place Google Street View, and collect all the information you can so your kids can start to imagine what life will be like in the new town. If possible visit your new town and plan fun things to do there. The more they see, the more excited they’ll be.
Have your children make a list of the things they will miss and then a list of the things they’re looking forward to about the new town. Make your own list too and compare. There’s a good chance you’ll find that many of the things your kids will miss can be found where you are headed.
Let your kids say good-bye to anyone that has been an instrumental part of their lives. Plan a special party of dinner to make sure each child can say goodbye in his or her own way. Your child will relish the opportunity to meet with these key individual for a grand send off. Don’t forget about the places around town that hold a special meaning for your kids. Plan time to visit these areas and do some of the things there one last time.
Ask your kids to plan how their new room will look. Ask them to draw a picture. Or better yet, you can draw the layout of the room, create cut-outs of the furniture, and allow them to arrange the space and color the walls.
If your child played on the local soccer team or took dance lessons, try to find someplace where they can get back in to their beloved activities. If your child loves to get creative by painting, acting, or singing, check out the local community center, children’s theatre, or church choir. It’s a great way for your kids to make new friends and feel more comfortable in their new town.