•1. Talk about moving.
Explain why and when you're moving. Put a calendar where all can see and count down to the move. Take them for a visit to their new school. Show them playgrounds, parks and recreational activities. Please, don't take your children on the house hunting expeditions! Once you have narrowed your hunt down to two or three homes, take the kids along and get their feedback. If you are moving out of state, photos and video of where they'll live and play will suffice
•2. Be positive.
If you're excited about moving, your kids will be too. Keep a positive attitude, but be prepared to accept their negative reactions. Don't respond with imperical statements like, "as long as I pay the bills around here, you'll do what I say." Listen to children's fears and concerns. Let them know their feelings are normal. Reassure them by reading books on moving or watching a video.
•3. Let the kids pack their stuff and plan their new room.
To small children, their possessions are their world. Reassure them that their possessions will move along with them. Have the children pack as much as possible. Give them special boxes and labels, and explain to them that all the things they packed will be in their new room when the family arrives. Talk about where they'll put their things, and let them play a part in decorating their room.
•4. Get ready for goodbye.
Give children a disposable camera so they can document everything they dont' want to forget. For example, their room, dog house, school, a favorite teacher, etc. Scrapbook the move and make it fun! (some kids may want to create a video) Write down addresses and phone numbers of friends. A good friend might even throw a going-away party just for the kids where they can hand out cards with their new address. If visits are possible, let your children know they'll be able to visit their old friends.
5. Settle comfortably in your new home.
Help your kids feel at home before they feel homesick. Set up their rooms first. Try to keep schedules as normal as possible, and be there to talk at mealtimes and bedtime. Get engaged in your new community as soon as possible. The more people you meet, the more new friends your children will make and they will acclimate faster. Also, you can sign up for one or two activities that will interest your children and help them meet new friends. Give lots of hugs!
Continue to be positive about the move! You're the leader, so LEAD! Your kids will eventually forgive you for moving. If behavioral issues become a concern, get professional help. The stress of moving isn't easy for parents either, but if momma is happy, everyone else is usually happy too.
New school tips:
• Ask your REALTOR to arrange a vist to the school. If you are moving mid- year, arrange a tour before the first day of school. Register before school starts so you can clear up any record or curriculum problems.
•Ask teachers about "buddy" or "Ambassador" programs. Most schools offer this service to help ease new school jitters.