Packing up the Kids
This is my seventh move in seven years. As I grow older, gain more stuff, and have more children, moving is getting harder and harder. It is especially challenging with the kids. They like their old home. They don't want to go to a new school. All their friends are here. Even though I understand their plight there is not much I can do. A new job in another town is better than no job. So as we have prepared to move I have discovered a few tricks that have made this upcoming move a little easier for the young ones.
Give them a BIG heads up!
When children are young we don't always tell them everything that is changing in their lives. We feel they most likely won't understand. As my children have gotten bigger I find that telling them in advance about big changes gives them time to consider and reconcile their fears of change. My oldest is 5 and I told her about moving 3 months before the move. I also reiterated this change many times over the 3 months. Now we are packing and she gets it. She knows that we are going to a new house. Another part of this is giving them something to see. We actually visited the new place and let the kids run around, play, imagine. This gave them a physical connection to the idea of moving. If you can't arrange a visit, then try to show pictures of the new home. It will help them understand visualize their lives in this new place.
Coordinate with the Schools
Getting both the old school and the new school on board with the move is a big step in making the transition as seamless as possible. Let teachers know early so they can tell each other where your child's learning needs attention. Those needs can be focused and reinforced in the new school. Also make sure the you contact the new school administration to know the registration dates and costs. It is a good idea to let the schools talk to each other. They can make sure that you as a parent know everything you need to prepare for the new school.
Leaving Friends is hard
No matter how you slice it, no one likes to leave their friends behind. fortunately, in our time technology has made these partings a little less sorrowful. If your kids are distraught with the thoughts of losing a friend, give them some insurance that there can still be a connection. Facebook, email, Skype, are all wonderful tools that can lessen the blows of a long-distance friendship. Even using the old conventional system of pen paling with snail mail can help build and keep up a good friendship. Introduce these mediums to your child and set aside time for them to talk and write to their old friends. Making new friends is also important in a move. The child may not want to talk about going out and making friends but as a parent you are in a unique position to place your child in social surroundings where they can make new friends. Sport teams, church, community activities can help you little ones venture into new and happy relationships that will make the move to a new home much easier.
One Box at a time
It is stressful but just remember you can get through any move if you focus on one box at a time. Don't let the big picture swallow you into a movers depression. Take time to plan, organize and relax during the process. Good luck and Bon Voyage.