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How Do I Prepare My Children for a Move?

April 10th, 2012 5:03 pm by

Preparing your children for a move is so important for a successful transition.  No matter how old your children are, take the time to sit down with them and explain the move as soon as you find out.  They should be the first to know, because you want to be the person to tell them.  It will make it easier for you and them.    When you tell them, be prepared for questions, concerns and a whole host of mixed feelings.  The important thing to keep in mind is to address your child’s concerns and try to make them feel apart of the process.    Moving poses challenges for your children.  They will feel a sense of frustration and loss of control, so taking steps to mitigate these feelings by validating them and making some accommodations to empower them will go a long way.  I am not suggesting that you put them in the driver’s seat, but as you discuss this with them, identify areas where they can be included and make decisions that are age appropriate.  For example, having some input on where to live, bedroom choices or where to go to school?  If you children are older, there may be more significant choices to be made, like staying with a relative to finish their senior year of high school.  In any event, there are tools available to help you and your children through the process. My biggest suggestion is to get them a journal.  It does not have to be fancy and it is a great help for young children as well.  It offers a terrific way for your child to catalog their feelings and express themselves.  Often times, your child may not be ready to discuss their feelings with you, so having this as an option allows them to sort out what they are feeling and prepare them to chat with you later.  I have found this as an invaluable tool for my kids.  

Another thing to keep in mind is that you set the tone for the experience.  Therefore, if you treat it as an adventure and stay positive, you child will follow your lead.  This will help your family make the transition successfully and build a sense of togetherness through the process.